Inspired by Jason #2

I heard lots of people say how, with all the time they have now at home, it is harder for them to focus on reading a book. I agree, I’ve had to push myself more to read and also to write.

To help with writing, I’m letting Jason Reynold’s help me. His Tue/Thur Writing Prompts, part of his Grab the Mic, Tell Your Story WriteRightRite videos are helping me.

During his #2 video shared last Thursday, he explained how his body is covered in tattoos and how each tattoo tells a story.
The prompt: If you had a tatoo, what would it be?
What story would it tell?

Personally, I have never wanted to get a tattoo. Why? My thinking involves my inability to pick something to show on my body forever. For instance, how could I, as a teenager, add something to my body that my 30-something self wouldn’t be embarrassed by OR How could I add something now to my 50-something body that wouldn’t embarrassed me in front of my middle school students. My thinking seems based on the premise that as we age, we grow and any thinking by my younger self is surely inadequate. Or am I too embarrassed to tell those currently around me the story connected to an inking?

Instead, Jason proudly wears his tattoos and they remind him of all his selves. Each inking for him is not a reminder of an embarrassing time but a celebration of his best self at that time, telling a story. This reminds me of meeting an art teacher at Teachers College last April. On each arm was a tattoo of letters that didn’t mean anything to me. I found myself distracted, wondering what each meant. So I just asked. “This is my daughter’s name in Hebrew and this is my son’s. I got each when they were born.” What a lovely story!

I personally do not think I will ever get a tattoo. Practical Sally says it is too expensive and Wimpy Sally says it might hurt. But what visual image might I put on a bumper sticker of my car??

Years ago, I taught kindergarten. A pre-reading strategy I used was assigning each child a simple symbol that stood for their name. Kyle was the tree and Sarah was the butterfly. Just as our brain could learn to read a hand drawn tree and say Kyle, soon their brain would read c-a-t and say cat. It was fun to have a secret code to identify each student! And my symbol was the Helping Hand. That year, Spencer’s family gave me a pewter Christmas ornament in the shape of a hand. Still, 25+ years later, I have that ornament and love seeing it each December, as I open the Christmas bin of ornaments. Thinking about the helping hand takes me back to that magical time as a kindergarten teacher. Such joy! Such curiosity! Such possibility! And I had the honor of guiding it day after day.

If I were to have a tattoo, I’d have it be in the shape of a hand.
How about you?

5 thoughts on “Inspired by Jason #2

  1. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    I don’t think I would like a tattoo. Each stage in life is different and our thinking changes in many ways. As you said I would not like something drawn on me for life. But I think a flower would be nice. They give joy at all moments. Thank you for sharing. Take care. Regards

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  2. jumpofffindwings says:

    Oh my gosh, I saw that edition with Jason and loved it, especially how he deferred to the parents’ being concerned about his pro-tattoo stance. Many kids are like you though, a war between the “practical” and the “wimpy.” I’ve written about my tattoos before—great blog topics—and didn’t get my first until I was 57 and my college-age son got his first, a gorgeous piece of body art, so “never say never.” I’m unable to post today, for whatever reason, so I’m just “listening” to others and responding. Here’s my “tattoo”post.
    Thanks for promoting Jason’s efforts as Youth Lit Ambassador. He’s the real deal.

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  3. MegMcCormick says:

    I laughed at your line, “Practical Sally says it is too expensive and Wimpy Sally says it might hurt” because I too have entertained both thoughts about tattoos. I like the way you connected the tattoo idea to the symbol strategy teaching moment- a helping hand is so fitting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    I need to have a better attitude when it comes to tattoos. I don’t like them. It’s probably my Southern upbringing. I love your idea of having an upraised hand. That’s a wonderful symbol. One of my sons-in-law has a number of tattoos all on one arm. And he got them recently in his 30s when I would think the desire would fade. Like I said, I need an attitude adjustment.

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