CultureJan 11, 2018 by Abigail Sanchez
Parents all across the country are starting to get matching tattoos to show their pride and joy over their children with Down syndrome
This idea was birthed among a group made up of about twenty moms of kids with Down syndrome who got together at a Ruby's Rainbow retreat in Austin, TX. In this group was a designer by the name of Mica May.
“There was so much excitement and empowerment in finding each other and now meeting in real life,” May told The Mighty in an interview. “It was so life-giving.” It was from this connection that a dream May had had came to life.
In a discussion about the "fierce love" they felt after meeting each other, one of the moms threw out the idea of getting matching tattoos to commemorate their friendship. It was at this point that May mentioned a recurring dream she had in which three arrows shot from her arm.
There were scripture verses that the women made connections to, but the most prominent interpretation was of the number 3, which, in the tattoo, represents that famous extra chromosome, Trisomy 21.
Amidst the excitement at the dream's interpretation, May grabbed a permanent marker and began drawing on the other women to get an idea of what the three arrows could look like.
Miles away in California, Rosalinda Gray heard about the tattoo and when she did, the idea expanded immensely. Gray is part of a group of over 260 local moms of kids with Down syndrome. She reached out to May and Heather Avis, who wrote "The Lucky Few", asking if her group could join because they "felt the same connection they did".
“The symbol unites us all," Gray told the Mighty.
Everyone was on board, especially a tattoo artist Gray knew. Gray is married to a tattoo artist, Tony. He works at Royal Peacocks in Sacremento, California. Having a child of his own with Down syndrome, he caught the vision instantly and clear his schedule for the first group of eight women.
The day after Gray posted the pictures on her Facebook page, she woke up with messages from 40 mothers, fathers, and family members of kids with Down syndrome asking to join. The simple design to bond friends had become a movement bonding families across the nation.
Tony, Gray's husband is now booked with groups getting their three arrows until August. Hundreds of groups in America have come together to get the tattoo showcasing their love for their loved one with Down syndrome. The movement has begun to spread in other nations too, including even a group from the U.K.
Calling all parents of kids with Down syndrome :: There are groups of parents from all over the nation that are getting this tattoo over the next couple weeks to symbolize this journey we are on. Some already have theirs, some got them today.. and more to come! Onward. Upward. Change. Unite. Courage. Strength. Tribe. Sisterhood. Trisomy. Three arrows to symbolize the the triplication of the 21st chromosome in Down syndrome and the thought that you have to be stretched to move forward. The arrows pointing outward from the body, to represent always moving onward and upward in our life. Drop your tattoo interest below and hashtag your posts.. so excited! #theluckyfewtattoo
“Onward. Upward. Change. Unite. Courage. Strength. • • • Three arrows to symbolize the the triplication of the 21st chromosome in Down syndrome and the thought that you have to be stretched to move forward. The arrows pointing outward from the body, to represent always moving onward and upward in our life.” #TheLuckyFewTattoo #DownSyndrome #t21
That time I got a matching tattoo with some new besties. ðŸ˜‚ At #rubysrainbowretreat we all started talking about getting matching tattoos and what started as a semi joke spiraled into an epic decision to make it happen. I shared a recurring dream I’ve had of waking up with three black arrows tattooed on my arm, everyone was like YES!!! Let’s just all get it!! ðŸ™Œâ˜ºï¸ The design means so many things to me and to so many of #theluckyfew. Three, for that third extra magic 21st chromosome Jackson has and the arrows are the perfect symbol because you can’t move forward without first being pulled back and stretched. ðŸ¹ To top it off, the three arrows represent each of my littles and how one day, they will shoot from my nest and fly on their own. This was an absolute dream scenario for my first tattoo and I’m so so happy. ðŸ¤— #downsyndrome #themagicofdownsyndrome #trisomy21 #nationaldownsyndromeawarenessmonth
More background on my tattoo. I haven’t been able to wear my wedding rings since my accident. First it was my swollen hand in a cast then I realized my rings constantly bang on my wheels and get hung up in my gloves. We were married on 3/30/2013. So that’s why it’s on my ring finger! Told you it was perfect for me! #worthy #theluckyfewtattoo
You can find more pictures and stories by searching for #theluckyfewtattoo.
Mica May stated, "This is our tribe, if this resonates with you, you are welcome to join in."
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