So much cooler than your dolphin tattoo.
Every year around Father’s Day, millions of dads around the world receive cards, hats, and mugs that declare them to be the “Best Dad Ever.” While we’re totally in favor of giving dads some large-scale positive reinforcement, we also know that some dads definitely, unquestionably stand above the rest. One of those dads is Mike Reynolds. And, if you need proof of his overwhelming dad-awesomeness, all you need to do is look at his tattoos.
Mike is a dad blogger from Ottawa — his site Puzzling Posts: A Father’s Passage Through Parenting is a must-read for dads with daughters — and, a few years ago, he made a life-changing decision. He decided to take the adorable drawings that his two young daughters were happily sketching every day and turn them into tattoos. And they look AMAZING.
It’s a genius idea. Why get some random Chinese character or someone’s initials tattooed on your skin when instead you can capture the wild artistic flair of your two-year-old on your arm? (Forget couple tattoos. Dad-daughter tattoos are way cooler.)
I spoke to Mike and asked what inspired him to turn his daughters’ sketches into such impressive dad tattoos. Mike told me, “I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was thirty because I couldn’t think of the ‘right’ tattoo for me. The first one was a quote about writing. The second, though, was a bit from a Ben Folds song that I got after the birth of my first daughter.”
“And then, when she started scribbling on the floors, walls, and random pieces of scrap paper, the dam collapsed and I realized that, for me, there was no better way to remember these amazing early years of their lives than by getting their works of art tattooed all over me.” (You can find a nice selection of his drawing tattoos on his Instagram page.)
Mike has taken the concept even further and started to request tattoos from his kids to commemorate special events. He said, “when we went to Disney this year, one daughter drew Mickey and the other drew Ariel. They’re both on my arms now.”
But how do his daughters’ feel about their artwork being immortalized on Daddy’s skin in permanent ink? “They love them.” Mike told me, “They are now at the point where they draw something and then present it to me with instructions on where to put them. The bigger challenge now is needing to think more strategically about placement. At first I just thought ‘put it here because everyone can see it there.’ Now, I need to think about what fits where and remember there’s likely a lot more work to come.”
When asked about his favorite tattoos so far, Mike cited his oldest daughter’s “Monster Under the Bed” (you can see it at the top of this article) or the super-cute Harry Potter sketch by his youngest. He’s also fond of the 13-color rainbow drawing that he had tattooed on his arm.
So, just remember, as you watch your dad sipping his Keurig coffee out of his “Dad of the Year” mug this Father’s Day, ask yourself, “If I drew a picture of Big Bird, would he ever get it tattooed on his skin?” If the answer is “No,” I’m sure he has his reasons and he’s a wonderful dad, but he might just be a little less “Dad of the Year”-worthy than Mike Reynolds. (And I’m saying this as a dad myself. He’s way cooler than me and I’m learning to be OK with it.)