Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: Our adult daughter, married with children, got a tattoo with a Scripture reference and a cross on the inside of her wrist. She sent us a text with pictures explaining her reason for that tattoo and the use of that particular Scripture. She was excited about it. She had previously mentioned getting a tattoo, so we were not surprised. It was her explanation and the placement and content of the tattoo that surprised us, and we were speechless and did not respond. We are all Christians, but we do not like the verse she chose. We also think she should have put it in a more private place. We do not think she made a wise choice but also know she didn't ask us for approval. And yet we feel she wants our approval. Do we remain silent? Sooner or later, we think, she will ask us what we think. It can't be undone, so whatever we think is a moot point. What do you suggest we say to her if she does ask us about the tattoo? Are we being petty?
DEAR SPEECHLESS: Yes, you are being petty. She is an adult, this is her choice, and she is excitedly telling you about it after the fact. If you don't like it, you can respond, "I wouldn't put that particular text on my wrist, but it's your body, and I hope you are happy with your choice."
DEAR AMY: You ran a letter from "Feeling Sad," a woman whose daughter's partner was about to have their child. Sad was upset because the child would not have their surname. Our son was the sperm donor to a lady who wanted to have a baby in her 40s. When the child was born, she invited us to be grandparents! It was the best gift we've ever received. Our son had to sign legal papers that he has no rights to this child; however, the two married women who are parents to the child allow our son to be part of her life. We see her every year and it's the best extended family situation you can imagine! It's not the name, legal rights or anything like that -- it's the child! We love this little girl with all our hearts, and she loves us. That's the only thing in the world that matters. "Feeling Sad" is missing the whole point. This isn't about her; it's about the gift of a child. I hope she learns to look for the joy in life instead of picking out negatives -- it will change her life for the better.
-- Feeling Great
DEAR GREAT: Many families don't share DNA or a surname. But sometimes the best family you can be a part of is the one you create for yourself. Well done to all of you.