Zoelie, Allister and the Seven Uncles

I don’t know what it is like to be a mother to a son, but I am quickly gaining experience in the land of little girls. I am happy they are little girls; however, I would prefer that they stay precious and innocent forever. I don’t want them to grow up and be big girls, or teenagers. The very word strikes fear into my heart.

The first thing that has scampered across my mind when hearing “It’s a girl!” from my u/s tech each time is “time to buy a shotgun”.  I am a chronic worrier, I admit. (My husband calls me his little yenta.) Among many other things, I worry about the day that boys are going to flock to my front door to take my daughters on dates. The thought gives me chills. I won’t be strong enough to handle it on my own. This is where I am SO grateful for my husband and his job.

Although my husband is not a big scary man, (he has a metabolism that any girl would envy), he has tattoos. They are everywhere:  on his arms, on his legs, on his hands, on his throat, and most recently on his head. (I won’t even go there, that was the surprise I got when I came home from MommyCon.)

Hopefully his appearance will shake up a young man and give him second thoughts about pulling any fast ones.

The second part of our plan is that all of my daughter’s dates will begin by picking her up at her daddy’s office. Daddy’s office is a tattoo shop, where not only he works, but so do six other heavily tattooed men. These men are fondly referred to as Uncle Jimmy the Kid, Uncle Justin, Uncle Pino, Uncle Ryan, Uncle Jim, Uncle Ian & Uncle Drew. They are not to be messed with and will gladly walk into the room with arms crossed; the stern looks on their faces will hopefully scare the pants off said young suitors.


What we won’t tell these young boys is that Uncle Jimmy the Kid draws the cutest, most cuddly little animals I have ever seen. Uncle Justin pretends to be scary and tough and mean but he has one of the softest, biggest hearts of any man I know. My littlest daughter Allister’s middle name is Colby, just like Uncle Pino’s. He is a lovesick puppy dog most of the time, and he still cosleeps with his daughter. He made her a pink guitar for Christmas and let her tattoo her name on his arm. (Yes ladies, he is single!) Uncle Ryan also thinks he’s tough but he isn’t- his favorite subjects to tattoo are flowers and pretty girly things everywhere. Allister has Uncle Jim wrapped around her finger, and he has definitely played pretend princesses with Zoelie. There is no doubt in my mind that Uncle Ian is going to be one of the best dads that the world has ever seen, once he decides to relax and make a baby with his lovely wifey. There is a very pure gentleness in his eyes when he interacts with my girls. Uncle Drew couldn’t hurt a fly; he’s an amazing artist and giggles all the time. (Sorry to blow your cover here guys, it’s not my fault that you are all sweethearts!)

I am so grateful for the 7 uncles. I am grateful for the awesome environment my little girls get to grow up in, shadowed and protected by an army of daddy + seven men who love them like they belong to them too. You don’t instantly think of a tattoo shop as an ideal place for children- and there are definite stereotypes to the lifestyle. This shop is different. Zoelie often will go hang out with daddy for the day. While he tattoos, she colors and draws. She makes letters and pretend mail and tapes her art all over the walls. She keeps clients company while they are getting tattooed; she gives them plenty of reasons to smile and endure the pain they are dealing with. The music is kept pretty family friendly, and there are more than enough lollipops to go around. Allister has taken a thousand naps on the soft leather couches and we always feel welcome to bring lunch and eat with daddy on a break, greeted by 7 extra high fives and 7 extra hugs each time we walk in the front door.


The people who work at this shop are more than employees, coworkers, or tattoo artists. They are family. My actual family, parents, siblings, etc., are all far away from where we live. It can sometimes be a hard and lonely road raising kids away from them.  As long as the 7 uncles are around and in our lives, we always will have a strong support system. It’s amazing how complete strangers can become closer than blood. We are blessed!

{Unrelated note: Let me just scream a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who took the time to read the entire selection of finalist entries! All of the other writers were so talented and I feel honored to have stood next to each of you in the competition. To everyone who supported me, I deeply appreciate it. I am humbled by the love from all of you who gave me your votes. I am so blessed to have the chance to write for The Mommy Dialogues. I promise to do the very best I can! If you want to find out more about me, you can go HERE and read my first finalist entry! If you have any suggestions on topics you’d like to read from me, please feel free to comment below!}





No Comments

  1. Alyssa -  February 8, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    What lucky girls you have to have such great uncles! Welcome to the blog Laney. We are so happy to have you.

  2. laura gutierrez -  February 8, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    Loved it laney. <3

  3. Shelley Payton -  February 11, 2013 - 8:34 pm

    I love this! Nothing better than friends who love your children like family. Is your husband a tattoo artist or does he just help out in the shop?

  4. Laney -  February 11, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    Shelley, thanks! He is a tattoo artist as well at the shop. I’m super proud of him, he is great at what he does!

  5. Sequoia -  February 11, 2013 - 11:31 pm

    I love the tattoo Zoelie did on her daddy what a sweet story!!

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