Thirty hours is a long time, especially when you’re spending it having an uncomfortable procedure done.
Just ask Derek Prue Sr., a dad from Edmonton, Canada. He recently spent that long having a large portion of his chest tattooed. No, Derek is not a glutton for punishment. He decided to get inked for a very good reason.
Derek Jr., his 8-year-old son, was born with a large rose-colored birthmark, which covers a section of his chest. One day, their family was out swimming when Derek Sr. noticed that his son refused to take his shirt off around other people in the pool. Crestfallen, he realized it was because the little boy felt embarrassed about his birthmark.
“I knew he was self-conscious about it,” he said. “I saw how he was reacting, and it made me want to do it so that he wouldn’t be the only one.”
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The awesome dad didn’t tell his son about his plan to get a copycat tattoo. Instead, he got a little help from his wife, who made up an excuse to take pictures of their son’s birthmark. He then went to Juicy Quill Tattoo with a highly unusual — and incredibly heartwarming — request.
“This is one of the coolest and most noble things I’ve ever seen,” tattoo artist Tony Gibbert wrote on Facebook. “A father’s love for his son… truly amazing! Be humble, be kind… we’re all a little different and that’s what makes us unique.”
When Derek first explained what he wanted to do, he had no idea how long this kind of project would take. “I remember the first time coming in, laying down, and then after maybe three, four hours, I was like, ‘Yeah, are we almost done?’ And Tony’s like, ‘Yeah, we’ve almost done the outline.'”
It actually took between six and eight weeks for the tattoo to be completed, and none of it was comfortable. “He’s been through the wringer sitting for that,” Tony explained. “It’s pretty painful.”
All of the pain was worth it when Derek Sr. unveiled his new tattoo! His family headed to the pool together, and Derek Jr. was shocked to see his dad’s new look. “I was happy and I was a little confused,” the boy said. “I didn’t know he was going to do that.”
These days, Derek Jr. says he will happily take his shirt off while he’s swimming… just as long as his dad is there too!
Seeing his son’s confidence surge made all those long hours in the tattoo chair worthwhile. “Now we have the same marks for life,” the dad added.
Not many parents would go this far to make their children feel more comfortable. Derek Jr. is one lucky kid!
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