I felt my eye-brow arch, twitch, and scrunch over my right eye, but before I said a word he propped his arm up like this (see picture), and smiled the smile of a valiant, though trepidatious 19-year-old.

I took a deep breath (just short of gasping) and said, “What are those dates about?” Trying to assess whether or not it was one of those fake tattoos–hoping it was a fake tattoo.

“Nona’s dates.”

“Oh.” I said, suddenly rendered voiceless. How could I argue with the life span dates of his other grandma who recently passed? “So…if the other arm is for me let’s keep it clean for a good long time, then. Shall we?”

He smiled. “I’d like that.”

“So, you do the best you can by your grandkids and then, when it’s all over, SPLAT! You’re a tattoo.”

He laughed again. “Yep, that’s life.”

That’s life!” I said. “Splat you’re a tattoo.”

“Yep, splat.” He laughed, “Ma, I think you need a glass of wine.”

Life… we’ve exchanged diaper rash for tattoos far too soon. Life travels fast, then splat, you’re a tattoo on somebodies arm.

Where’s that wine!

Mindy Halleck

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