Originally posted Oct 7, 2010, at Tiny Dart Frog. Republished with permission of the author.
This blog has always been called the “Tiny Dart Frog,” based on the beauty and strength and smallness of the poison dart frog.
When I was in college I got a poison dart frog tattoo. I got it to remind myself that I may be tiny, but I am strong and I am OK and I am made by God.
OK, the “made by God piece” wasn’t quite formed that solidly when I was in college, but it’s still true.
But, when I got it, the tattoo was about me. About me claiming myself.
When my youngest son was around 2, he began kissing my frog tattoo. For some reason he thought this is what you do to tattoos.
Once, when we were at the bus stop another mom’s tattoo was peeking out the bottom of her shorts leg, and he walked over and kissed her tattoo because that’s what he thought you do. I had a bit of explaining to do.
My tattoo had become about him. It was about him claiming me; carrying a piece of us around as he experienced the world.
When I started blogging my random thoughts, however insignificant they are, it was about sharing something more. Something that wasn’t only about me … but about God, about life. It was about connecting all the “me’s” of the world in cyberspace.
I’ve been given a lot of frogs over the past 15 years. They sit on my desk, hang on my wall, rest on my bed, ink my body, and sometimes find their way onto the lobes of my ears.
I can tell you who gave me almost every one or where it came from. My tattoo, which started out about me finding me, became me finding others and others finding me. I like that.
Recently we moved and my youngest son was scared getting on the bus.
Scared is not an adequate word — terrified maybe, distraught possibly, insecure probably. So, I grabbed the closest thing to me — my work bag.
My work bag is covered with pins and patches. Quickly I unpinned a little frog pin and fastened it on his pocket.
I pin that frog pin to him every day right now. I wish I didn’t have to. I wish he didn’t need that visible reminder, but he does, at least for now. I know what that’s like — to need a reminder. Heck, a pin is a whole lot less permanent than a tattoo.
It’s little bit of me attached to him. And in some ways, it’s a little bit of you too, because all of us have our insecurities, all our worries and fears.
Pinned to him right now is the whole “you may be tiny but you can do this” piece. A little courage in his pocket. A little “you are loved and beautiful and made by God” tacked on him.
Frogs and whispers. Birds and songs. Me and you. These are the things that get us through and make us who we are. May you learn who that person is, and may you help someone find who they are.
Find a link to Christine Stephan’s blog Tiny Dart Frog at Lutheran Blogs.