I took my little girl to the mall today, to get her ears pierced. She turned eight on Thursday and we told her that that was the magic age in which she would be old enough to decide for herself if she wanted to get her ears pierced or not. At this point in the story, I will tell you that it is a long standing tradition for the girls in my family. When they turn eight they get earrings. My oldest daughter got her ears pierced when she was eight. I got my ears pierced when I was eight. As the woman in Icing said, it is like a rite of passage.Today I took my youngest, my daughter to receive her rite of passage. We went to the mall just as it was opening. We passed storefronts as metal gates were being pulled up in preparation for conducting business. Straight to Icing jewelry store we went, where we began to fill out the paper work in order to get the “procedure” done. Another sweet little girl had gotten there just before us and was getting her ears pierced too.
At that point the smart thing to do would have been to leave the store, go look around and come back. But I figured it would be over quickly and we could have our turn. Unfortunately, we stayed. The other little girl cried and screamed and said it hurt so bad! As they finished, my daughter looked up at me with trouble eyes and said, “I am so scared.” I assured her that it would be over quickly and reminded her that it was her choice.
Now the other little girl was done, crying and saying that it hurt as her mother tried to console her. My daughter sat in the chair, wringing her hands in nervous anticipation. She told me then that she was not sure she wanted to do it. I again told her it was up to her, though secretly hoping that she would decide to go ahead and do it. Finally, she told me that she no longer wanted to get her ears done. We walked back out into the mall without the earrings.I looked down and saw that she was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I can’t believe I didn’t get my ears pierced.” We sat on a bench and she curled herself up on my lap and I held her like I did when she was a baby. On the way out we got some caramel popcorn because she thought it would make her feel better. I realized then that some rites of passage really aren’t worth the trouble. So my baby is still my baby with unmarked earlobes.