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The Madi-inspired tattoo

When our daughter Madison, who we call Madi, but is also lovingly known as Missy, was a toddler, she really didn’t like anyone. Seriously, she didn’t like ANY-ONE except us-me, her dad, her brothers, and her sister. Madison was born in Wilmington, NC about 3 months before we relocated to the Savannah area. In short, we were the only people she knew so stranger anxiety was a REAL issue. When our moms would visit, it would take a solid day or 2 for Madi to warm up to them or aka, let them hold her without constant screaming. And even then it was awkward. I’m talking serious R.B.F. Well, we decided not to try for that 5th baby. No Jackson 5 or basketball team for us. Even the baby whisperer in the family, my grandmother, couldn’t tame this one. I know she hurt many feelings but what could we do?

I was a stay at home mom so she was with me, at home, pretty much all the time. If it wasn’t me, it was Corey and/or her siblings. True, she didn’t like anyone outside of our family but she REALLY, REALLY loved us, especially Bryson. She would literally try to eat his face. And, he would giggle as the drool rolled down his cheek. One day (when she was maybe 3 or 4), and after telling her that I love her and getting the usual “I love you too” response, I asked, “how much?” She spread open her arms out as wide as possible and yelled, “8-5-6”. Not eight hundred fifty six but 8-5-6. To her, that was the biggest number ever. And that number has stuck with us. So, to this day, whenever we ask each how much, “8-5-6” is always the answer.

And, it’s not just between Madi and I but

also between the family. Corey and I even have it engraved in our wedding bands from our 10th anniversary.

So, we're working on designing a Roman numeral tattoo to represent the great love that we have for one another. This number was born out of the purest heart- a toddler’s. This cute little baby is now almost 5’10 at 16 years old. She still loves our little family but a bit more open to outsiders. She is cautiously strong and vocally opinionated. She also loves history, theater, graphic design, singing, Duchess, and Evie and not in that order. She will deny the history part but she talks about it more than she realizes. More than that, she cares for voiceless people. So, when she says she loves you, trust me, she loves you 8-5-6.

We're working on a design similar to this. What do you think?


To love and be loved


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