Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I got my ears pierced when I was 9-years old...only thanks to my little sister Melissa, who was 6 at the time. Imagine my father with a bunch of daughters, all clamoring to get their ears pierced...and he was resisting, not sure he was ready for that yet. One evening Melissa was trying her best to convince her Daddy that young as she was, she was ready to take this big step when my Dad pulled out a big safety pin. One of those enormous ones that were used when pinning cloth diapers. He said something along the lines of "Okay, if you want your ears pierced so badly, I'll just do it right here and now." He was clearly bluffing. But Melissa balled up her fists, screwed her eyes shut tight and said, "Okay...I'm ready!" Bluff called, my Dad was very impressed. If she was serious enough about getting her ears pierced that she was willing to let him do it right then and there with a safety pin, well maybe she really was ready. My mom took Melissa and Katie to get their ears pierced a few days later, and me a few days after that.

When Rebekah and Julianne started talking about earrings, Bryan resisted just like my father. He liked the idea of maybe waiting till they were 18-years old. I told him I got mine done at age 9. We decided to compromise at 12. But just like Melissa did with my father, Julianne and Rebekah both went about softening up their Daddy. It was Julianne's 8-year old logic and reasoning that convinced him, rather than the puppy dog eyes that 9-year old Rebekah was employing. Julianne gave him all the reasons why she wanted her ears pierced, how she would maintain care as they were healing, and the ways in which she would show responsibility in keeping track of and taking care of her various pairs of earrings as she collected them over time. Julianne's well thought out answers impressed Bryan in the same sort of way that Melissa's bravery impressed my father. And Bryan relented. I took the girls to the mall a few days later.

Lilian turned 8-years old last summer. She'd already been talking about earrings for a few years. I knew we'd have to wait until at least 8-years old before Bryan would reluctantly consent to letting his baby get her ears pierced. After the skipping over Brandon years, enough time had passed that he was back to the "are you sure we can't wait till she's 18?" line of thinking. When I did finally tell Lilian that she was old enough, she was so surprised with the change from "not yet" to "okay sure...want to go today?" that she actually backed off for a few months more...not truly sure she was ready after all. Fear of pain and all of that.

But eventually, Lilian decided she was ready and schedules aligned enough that we found a small window of opportunity to run over the mall on a Monday evening after taking Brandon to gymnastics. Julianne came along for moral support and a hand to squeeze. We went to the same little kiosk where I had taken her older sisters years earlier. And after picking out some pink sparkly star studs (because Lilian is all about anything that sparkles) she settled herself onto the tall stool and prepared herself for the big moment. The piercing lady assured her that she would hardly feel it, so she was a little annoyed when it hurt more than she was led to believe. A loud and indignant "Ouch!!!" came out of her mouth. But the pain was not enough to bring tears...and probably was exactly as much as Julianne and I had previously told her that it would hurt. She was absolutely delighted to see the end result and stared at the mirror with a big grin on her face for quite awhile after the deed was done.

We're still in the cleaning and twisting phase of healing. Three more weeks or so until she can take the studs out and pick other fun earrings to wear.

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