Ever since I was a young child I’ve been able to see veins through my skin. Not ALL – that would be gross! Just some veins here and there. I have pale skin. You can see my skin change colour like a chameleon when I am embarassed, have a bit of caffeine, a sip of red wine or now, a hot flash. (Ahem – Tropical Moment.) 

It freaked me out to be told my veins were ‘spider’ veins until I realized one of my favourite superheros was Spider Man. Then it was ok. Sort of. As I grew up I didn’t go out of my way to hide them or show them off – they were small and on my legs. Many years later however I do make a point of trying to hide them as they have grown, gotten darker and multiplied. I’ve even looked into having them removed but chickened out. 

Today though, it finally occurred to me that these are something more than gross blue lines that need to be hidden. They are actually ‘unique’ markings that my body has made over the last (almost) five decades to decorate my otherwise boring pale skin. They are tattoos that show the decisions in life that I have made, the paths I have taken, and the roadmap to where I am today. They are the story of my life. 

When my kids were little we played a game called Scribble Drawings. They would scribble all over a piece of paper and I would find things to highlight in their scrawls – like a puppy with big floppy ears, a goofy face or if I was desperate, a tree. It was a little bit of magic for them to see things materialize out of their randomness and allowed me to use my latent artsy-fartsy abilities. It was also one of my tricks for dealing with tantrums and meltdowns by giving them something new to focus on.

This is what my body has done for me – created scribbles. One looks like a frenzied dance with lots of people waving their arms around in euphoria. Another one kind of reminds me of myself with a big pregnant belly that time my firstborn added 62 pounds to my weight – hair all over the place, arms and legs akimbo, trying to walk him out in the July heat. One sort of looks like my daughter staring off into the distance with a big hat on her head. 

Crazy right? That’s ok, it’s all me baby. 

I’ve been trying to decide on a tattoo for a long time now but haven’t been able to make up my mind. In the meantime I’ll work with what I’ve got and start wearing shorts again.

How about you? What do you think about spider veins?

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