Last Sunday, I had one of those moments so sweet, your heart quickens and your breath catches, and if you are open to tears, they will come.
My little girl, who fancies herself a princess, tried on a clip-on earring for the first time. It was sparkly and dangly and every time she touched it, she went to the place dreamers go. Stars twinkling in hooded-eyes.
Now, if my husband and I were my own loving yet strict parents, we would make her wait to get her ears pierced until she turned 12. I wondered if I should offer it. I worried about infection, about pain, about pulling, about spoiling. About everything.
Giovanna, who will be three next month, wanted real earrings. We took her to the Westlake Center Claire’s, and we left without sitting in the black ear piercing chair. I was nervous. We ate lunch, we talked about it, and we returned to Claire’s. Gigi, a strongly opinionated little person, a person who knows exactly what she wants and does not waver, insisted she was ready.
She sat up on that chair, and she waited, confirming again and again that she was, in fact, getting her ears pierced. Kayla, an absolute sweetheart and very attentive towards both of my children, pinned back Gigi’s stray hairs and cleaned her ears and made the little dots, all the while explaining every thing. Gigi kept a straight face, nervous yet determined, like a woman who wants something.
She waited, sitting unusually still, for the manager to come so they could pierce both ears at the same time. The longer we waited, the more I knew that everything was going to be okay. Gigi wasn’t going to get off of that chair until she had holes in her ears. Like mama.
When they came, I crouched in the middle to hold her hands. I watched her face as they did it. She focused, her cheeks flushed, silent and stoic. When it was done, she reached for me and put her arms around my neck and kissed me about five times. Kisses of relief, of pain and of joy.
That was it; my baby becoming a strong, brave girl before my eyes.