"I thought it would be a nice thing to do to show him that he wasn't alone," the dad said, of his decision to get inked.
Being a parent means that you come up with solutions for all of your child's problems. For Derek Prue Sr., that meant getting a tattoo that took over 30 hours to complete. You see, his son, Derek Prue Jr., was born with a huge birthmark on his torso, and he didn't like it one bit. The father first noticed it when the boy seemed a bit hesitant to take his shirt off when they went swimming, according to CTV News.
"I knew he was self-conscious about it," Prue told CBC. "I saw how he was reacting, and it made me want to do it so that he wouldn't be the only one."
Immediately, the father-of-six decided to get a tattoo was because he wanted his beloved son to feel good in his own skin. "I thought it would be a nice thing to do to show him that he wasn't alone."
Since they'd decided to keep the whole thing a surprise, Derek had no idea what his dad had in mind when he took a picture of his birthmark.
Prue, meanwhile, had no idea just how painful getting a massive tattoo can be. "He's been through the wringer sitting for that," said tattoo artist Tony Gibbert, owner of the Juicy Quill tattoo studio, where Prue had the work done. "It's pretty painful."
"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're almost done the outline.'
Prue thought it would be over in a jiffy, but it took about 30 hours, over a period of six to eight weeks to complete the whole thing. "I'm kind of glad I didn't know how long it was going to take."
Gilbert says he's really glad he could be a part of such a special project. "I think it's amazing to be able to comfort your son like that," he said. "It's more than just your kid seeing your name, or something, you get to actually, like, really change the way he feels about himself.
"Just being able to go swimming with his dad and take off his shirt and be happy and comfortable. I'm happy I get to be part of it, in a small way I get to help with what he's trying to do."
Eventually, Prue revealed his tattoo to his son, at a local swimming pool which led to some questions from the boy. "He was asking me you know, how long was I going to have it," said Prue. "I think it took a while to process."
"I was happy and I was a little confused," Derek said, about his dad's new tattoo. "I didn't know he was going to do that." The excited child then told his mom that he'll now take his shirt off when he swims. "Whenever Daddy's there I can take the shirt off," he said.
His son is finally confident about owning his imperfections. And that's all that matters to Prue. "Now we have the same marks for life," he said.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBS News (Dad gets tattoo just like son's birthmark so he wouldn't be self-conscious of it anymore)