Yesterday, among all my sweet Valentine’s, I received three temporary tattoos. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I decided to apply them all today. Hey, why not? I put them on my forearm before leaving for work and wore a nice sweater that covered them up. Here’s what my sprouts saw:

This way, when I pulled the sleeve of my sweater up, I could say, “Kitten, kitten, SKULL!”

Some of them didn’t blink an eye… others replied by showing me their tattoos. I suspect, this is what goes on in the tough guy biker tattoo community as well.

In related tough guy news, my buddy David presented me with not one, but two gifts today. When he handed them to me and I opened them, he made sure to note the ‘blood where the hand was bit off” as well as the ‘blood all over the monster from when he bit the hand off.’ Awesome.

I couldn’t help but think of Ralph Fletcher’s amazing Boy Writers. The blood, the guts, the violent imagery and fantasy of it all are exactly what many of the boys yearn to write about. Maybe David felt comfortable presenting me with the pictures because, in his eyes I’m a boy too.

I suppose, when your students give you tattoos and you can’t wait to show them off, you’re still a kid at heart. I’ll wear them with pride and be just fine being one of the boys.