When you’re a parent, wanting the best for your kids comes naturally. And it’s not just trying to get the best of the best when it comes to care, education, and whatnot, but also showing that their problems are also your problems and that you are emotionally invested in solving them together.

So, when your son is born with a very noticeable birthmark and you understand just how self-conscious he can get because of it, it’s only natural that you as a parent would get the idea to go and get a tattoo that’s an identical copy of your son’s birthmark to make him feel like he’s not alone in this.

This is exactly what happened with Derek Prue Sr. Of Stony Plain, a town in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region of Alberta, Canada.

A dad’s love knows no bounds, and when your son has self-esteem issues, it’s dad to the rescue

Image credits: Juicy Quill Tattoo

Meet Derek Prue Sr., proud dad of Derek Prue Jr., who was born 8 years ago with a large birthmark on the lower left part of his chest. Usually, Derek Jr. would be proud of his birthmark, but Sr. started noticing how his confidence started to dwindle and he had been more and more hesitant showing it.

Derek Sr. began noticing how his son was reluctant to take off his shirt when going to the swimming pool and started covering it up more, leading him to believe that his son was growing self-conscious about it.

Derek Prue Sr., a dad from Alberta, CA got a tattoo of his son’s birthmark to help his son stay confident about it

Image credits: Juicy Quill Tattoo

So, the dad took action. He got in touch with Juicy Quill Tattoo (who Bored Panda contacted for an interview), a local tattoo and piercing shop, to see if they could help him get a replica of his son’s birthmark tattooed on his lower chest.

“I was definitely surprised to see the request for the tattoo as it was a first for me,” explained Tony of the Juicy Quill Tattoo Shop. “I tattooed in West Edmonton Mall for many years and saw thousands of tattoos, but never one like this.”

30 hours later—yes, you read that correctly, it took a total of 30 full hours of outlining and filling out an entire tattoo of the birthmark—and Derek Sr. was ready to show his son that he’s not alone and that he won’t have to feel awkward or self-conscious because of his unique birthmark ever again

“We did the lion’s share of the work free of charge—I believe I charged him for 4 hours,” elaborated Tony. “Tattoos are crazy expensive these days and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to do something noble and thoughtful like he did.”

Derek Sr. noticed how his son started being hesitant to take off his shirt whenever they went to the pool

Image credits: CBC

So, one day, Derek Jr. was playing with his sisters in the swimming pool when his dad called him over to the edge of the pool. Senior took off his shirt to unveil the tattoo of Junior’s birthmark, which left the kid with a huge smile on his face.

Now, Junior didn’t know what to make of it at first, but it was a positive reaction altogether. “I was happy and I was a little confused”, he explained to CBC. Needless to say, he wasn’t expecting his dad to go the extra mile. Well, face it, this was going the extra four thousand miles!

Derek Sr. did explain that it wasn’t easy getting the tattoo—after all, it wasn’t just the 30 hours of lying on your back (not in one go, but still), but it was also 30 hours of feeling a bunch of needles doing micro-stabs into your skin around the ribs and chest. But, needless to say, it was worth it.

Tony of Juicy Quill Tattoo elaborated on the challenge: “The most challenging part was the fact that it’s a super sensitive area, so we stopped a lot to freeze him and did smaller sits so it was more bearable for him. I believe he was back 8 or 9 times.

So, he got an identical tattoo of the birthmark, which took over 30 painstaking hours to make!

Image credits: CBC

He explained that it is an amazing feeling to be able to comfort your son like that, and it’s amazing to think how this actually changed the way Derek Jr. feels about himself. And now, whenever father and son go swimming, Junior takes off his shirt with confidence because they both have the same mark. “Now we have the same marks for life,” said Derek Sr.

The internet is raising a glass to Mr. Prue Senior for his selfless actions. Many were amazed and called him a hero, an absolute champion, and a legend. Others said that this story perfectly sums up a father’s love for their children—willingness to do anything so as to make their kids feel comforted and like they belong.

“I’ve seen this story being shared all over the world,” said Tony. “This boy who was, at first, scared to take shirt off in pools, who has been questioned about the weird mark, now has the most famous birthmark around. His dad did that. That is nothing short of amazing and it started with an idea from a father who just wanted life to be a bit easier for his son.”

Junior was confused at first, but he felt happy, and is now again confident to go swimming shirtless

Image credits: CBC

If you’re interested in the Juicy Quill Tattoo shop, then feel free to check them out here. But before you go, tell us your thoughts on this. If you’re a dad, what are some things that you have done for your kids to comfort them regarding their own self-image? Let us know in the comment section below!

Many online praised the dad, saying he’s a legend and that he deserves an award, among many other nice things