Bird tattoo a mother's gift

Gee, if I don't hurry up my promised birthday gift from my oldest son may just fly away.

I'm not sure whether opening the door on this particular cage is a good idea or not.

The promised gift is a piece of him that I could look at and admire and remember my oldest and wisest on a daily basis for the rest of my life. It is something personal that I can keep for ever and even take to my grave.

To him, it is the best gift a boy can give and what mother wouldn't grab such an opportunity with both hands (or maybe an ankle, or shoulder)?

My son has promised me a tattoo for my birthday, in any size and on any place on my body at my discretion, the offer lasting for one year from turning 60. That gives me until November to redeem his generous offer.

My son who is quite well adorned with all manner of wildlife on his body, knows that I'm not a big fan. And in order to keep that stance, I have had to remain resolute in disliking anything written in ink on any person's body. But just quietly, there are the occasional tattoos that I quite like.

He must have caught me in a moment of weakness when I confessed to liking the outline of a bird he has on his leg. The drawing is one of his own, recreated by a tattoo artist apropros to a walking modern Louvre. I like it for two reasons, one is that he drew it and I really like his art (although this is not an invitation for a full family portrait in ink) and I like its simplicity.

I told him that this bird made me think of him. And so he took that particular bird by the claw. He does live in Sydney after all and it's not like I see him every day. Why not think about him every day with a permanent reminder?

Stupidly, the idea has grown its own wings and I find myself considering his offer. I think that the ankle already numbed from foot surgery might be the best place, postage stamp size of course. The tattoo gauntlet has taken flight, sinking its talons in my imagination. I have about four months to decide whether that is the best place for it to stay.

- Linda Muller