Mother tries to deal with daugh­ter’s tat­too

The Barrie Examiner - - LIFE -

My 45-year-old daugh­ter got a large tat­too on her in­ner arm. Imag­ine my sur­prise when I fi­nally saw it. I said to her, “Is that real?” She laughed and said, “Yes.” Noth­ing fur­ther was said dur­ing my visit ex­cept for once when I stated, “I don’t like tat­toos.”

That was three years ago. Life went on, and the tat­too dis­solved, for me, into the back­ground of our re­la­tion­ship.

Now, she has sent me pic­tures of her with her dogs, hus­band, friends, etc., and I am see­ing an­other tat­too. We are plan­ning an­other visit. What do I say, if any­thing?

She ob­vi­ously wants me to no­tice. This is a woman who has a very re­spon­si­ble job, but is choos­ing (in my opin­ion) to de­file her body.

It’s prob­a­bly gen­er­a­tional, but I can’t stand to see my daugh­ter with tat­toos. I just don’t know how to ap­proach it. I think I got it wrong last time. Please tell me what to say. — TAT­TOO HATER

Some­times I fall back on this: “If you can’t find some­thing nice to say, don’t say any­thing at all.”

For your daugh­ter, these tat­toos are not a de­file­ment, but a dec­o­ra­tion. A state­ment. Part of her ex­ter­nal iden­tity. And yes, your re­ac­tion is largely gen­er­a­tional.

Be­fore pre­par­ing any re­sponse, ab­sorb this re­al­ity: Your daugh­ter is her own per­son. Her body be­longs to her. She is not de­lib­er­ately try­ing to up­set you.

You have choices re­gard­ing this re­la­tion­ship. You can choose to fo­cus on some­thing you see as a flaw and take it per­son­ally, or you can choose to love your daugh­ter whole­heart­edly, re­gard­less of her adorn­ment, and ac­cept and em­brace her, just as she is.

As the daugh­ter of some­one killed by an el­derly driver I had a hor­ri­ble time read­ing your curt and po­lit­i­cally safe re­sponse to the let­ter signed “Years of Wine and Roses.”

My dad was struck and killed walk­ing his dog by an 87-yearold woman, not “turn­ing left,” “on the high­way,” or “driv­ing at night” — all things you noted that el­derly driv­ers tend to avoid.

An el­derly driver, at best, is a risk with slowed judg­ment and re­ac­tion times, re­duced hear­ing and sight. When you com­pound those real risks with even the pos­si­bil­ity of drink­ing, it’s neg­li­gent to not con­tact the au­thor­i­ties for an eval­u­a­tion.

Please re­think your an­swer be­fore some­one else has to suf­fer the unimag­in­able pain my fam­ily has had to en­dure.

— GRIEV­ING

I am so sorry to learn of your fam­ily’s ter­ri­ble loss. A physi­cian can or­der that a pa­tient must take a new driver’s test. Some­times even the prospect of tak­ing the test is enough to get an im­paired driver off the road.

My nor­mal rou­tine is that my li­censed child­care provider picks up my 5-yearold from school at 2:15 and cares for him un­til I fin­ish work.

When she re­cently had a med­i­cal ap­point­ment, I agreed to pick him up and bring him to her, where her backup staff would care for him.

I for­got to pick up my own child! At about 4:20, I tore out of work and found him, safe and sound, at the af­ter­school pro­gram at his school. I was hor­ri­fied. This got me think­ing about the numer­ous deaths that oc­cur ev­ery sum­mer be­cause chil­dren are ac­ci­den­tally left in cars.

Very of­ten, this oc­curs be­cause of a vari­a­tion in the par­ent’s nor­mal rou­tine. That could have eas­ily been me, and I have the great­est sym­pa­thy for the par­ents who have lost a child in such a tragic way.

Please, let’s every­one get in the habit of throw­ing our purses/ brief­cases in the back­seat when we buckle in our child so that we are forced to look in the back­seat when we get to our des­ti­na­tion. — SU­SAN IN UP­STATE NY

Sta­tis­tics of chil­dren dy­ing of heat stroke in cars show that this tragedy is hap­pen­ing more of­ten. As you point out, this can hap­pen es­pe­cially when there is a vari­a­tion in the nor­mal rou­tine. There are prod­ucts that prom­ise to pre­vent par­ents ac­ci­den­tally leav­ing chil­dren in cars, but your so­lu­tion is both prac­ti­cal and wise. Email: askamy@tri­bune.com

DURHAM, N.H. — Strawberry sea­son in the North­east usu­ally lasts only four to six weeks, but New Hamp­shire re­searchers have fig­ured out how to stretch the har­vest form July to Thanks­giv­ing.

Re­searchers with the Univer­sity of New Hamp­shire har­vested straw­ber­ries grown in low tun­nels for 19 con­sec­u­tive weeks. They also found that the 3-foot- (0.91me­tre), tall tun­nels sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased the per­cent­age of mar­ketable fruit, from an av­er­age of about 70 per cent to 83 per cent.

Now in its sec­ond year, the re­search project by the New Hamp­shire Agri­cul­tural Ex­per­i­ment Sta­tion is part of a larger, multi-state ef­fort to op­ti­mize pro­tected grow­ing en­vi­ron­ments for berry crops in North­east­ern states and the up­per Mid­west.

The project is funded by the United States De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture.

The univer­sity’s part is fo­cused on im­prov­ing berry qual­ity and the role ever-bear­ing, or day-neu­tral, va­ri­eties may play in ex­tend­ing the length of strawberry sea­son in the North­east.

Grad­u­ate stu­dent Kait­lyn Orde said the univer­sity is grow­ing one of these va­ri­eties on three dif­fer­ent mulches, “to de­ter­mine if there are any dif­fer­ences in to­tal pro­duc­tion, pro­duc­tion pat­terns, run­ner pro­duc­tion, and fruit char­ac­ter­is­tics.”

She said they also are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the role the plas­tic-cov­ered low tun­nels play in im­prov­ing berry qual­ity. They are eval­u­at­ing five dif­fer­ent plas­tics for the tun­nels.

The strawberry crop is im­por­tant to New Hamp­shire farm­ers. Agri­cul­tural re­searcher Becky Side­man es­ti­mates the re­tail value of the crop is about $1.85 mil­lion.

Re­searchers in Mary­land, Min­nesota, North Carolina, and New York have con­ducted pre­lim­i­nary re­search on sim­i­lar sys­tems. The As­so­ci­ated Press

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