It used to be every parent’s nightmare. For one gay New Jersey dad, it still was.
And like many parenting nightmares, it started with a text.
Backing up a bit, Richard adopted his son, Jonathan, in 2005 at the age of five. Just to clarify, Jonathan was five, not Richard. That would have been far too young to become a father and this would have been a very different story.
Jonathan has since joined the Navy, and sent his dad into a tizzy a few weeks ago when he told him via text he planned to get a tattoo.
Richard shared the story with parenting website Gays With Kids.
“Don’t you dare,” he texted back to his son.
“It’s just that when it’s your own child, and they are permanently going to alter the look of their body, all sorts of thoughts start going through your head,” Richard explained. “How is it going to look when he is older? What is he going to choose? Will he regret it? Will he be able to cover it up? Will they see it on a job interview? How did he choose the tattoo artist? Is he just getting one due to peer pressure?”
“It’s the Jewish mother in me,” he added.
A couple of weeks went by and Richard thought the idea was put to rest.
But Richard got another text: Jonathan went through with it. The ink, as they say, was dry, and Richard was furious.
Then another text came in, this time with a photo of Jonathan’s new tattoo. Below his chest, written in Roman numerals, Jonathan had the date of his adoption inked.
“I was so taken aback,” Richard said. “My fear that he was going to get something ridiculous, something he would regret, shifted and I could not be more proud of him. What an amazing tattoo!”
Jonathan posted a photo online with the caption: “So I got my first tattoo!! This date is the day that my life changed. This is the day my dads adopted me. The greatest day in my life knowing that for the rest of my life I would finally have a loving family that loved me for me!”
Read the full story on Gays With Kids.