Earlier this week, out of the blue, my 3 year old enquired as to when she would get “grown up earrings”. She’s gone through a gross of the stick on kind since she discovered them on her second birthday and apparently they weren’t cutting it any longer.
“Well, to wear grown up earrings, you have to get your ears pierced. That means a hole popped through your ear. It hurts a lot.”
“I know that. I want my ears pierced.”
She may be younger than some of the crumbs under the couch cushions, but this kid has more conviction and self confidence in a single ringlet than 75% of adults. I did not hesitate to believe her for a second.
To be honest, I’ve pictured my little girl with blingy earlobes since the second I dreamed up her sweet caramel face twelve years ago.
When I was pregnant the first time, the subject of circumcision arose at a midwife appointment. For me, there was no debating. I was NOT taking it upon myself to whack off part of anyone’s genitals, specifically because I couldn’t watch it happen. And since there was no way I was going to push a person out of my body and then hand that perfect little creature over to strangers to do something I was too horrified to bear witness to, the option was off the table. You want a mushroom penis when you start swinging it around with the partner(s) of your choice? That’s on you, little buddy.
The irony that at the same time, I envisioned puncturing holes in my little girls head in the name of being fancy was not lost on me.
But years later, when my girl (who was even more heart-achingly beautiful than I could have imagined) finally came into the world, I couldn’t bring myself to do that either. Immunizations (holy shit. immunizations and circumcision in one post. no debates. moving right along.), a necessary momentary torture, imposed more than enough baby tears, and preventing disease seemed more important than preventing people from calling my daughter a boy.
I assumed that one day she’d ask, and I’d say yes. I had no idea she’d ask so early or be so hell bent on the idea, even armed with the information that at 12, I let out a scream so loud in the middle of the mall that I left with only one hole. “I KNOW it’s gonna hurt, mom. I’m not gonna cry. I’m gonna LAUGH.”, she told me.
She brought it up non stop for the next 2 days. So, Friday morning, I took her to the mall with the understanding that we would check it out and see how she would feel about it after being told the process. She was quiet yet confident as I spoke with the manager, a sweet young girl named Sammie who resembled Tiffani Amber Theissen but would likely have no good god damn of an idea who the crap I was talking about if I told her, so I kept my boring lady thoughts to myself.
“Can you sit really still?”
“Have you ever been pinched before?”
“Ok. It’s going to feel like a pinch, and then your ear might feel a little warm. Do you think you can stay still and not touch your ears?”
“This is all her idea. I didn’t suggest it to her, and I totally believe that she can handle it.” I told Sammie.
Josie chose tiny crystal flowers, and climbed up into the chair that made her look so tiny, yet so grown up all at once. “I don’t need any help.” she reminded.
She was calm and relaxed as she watched the station get prepped. I asked if she was excited and she answered with a small and straight forward, “yes”.
While I didn’t ever doubt her determination to go through with it, I had no idea she’d do it like such a bad ass. The first went in without so much as a gasp. She smirked with satisfaction, but as the warmth began to radiate over her ear, the smirk faded and her breath quickened. As she had promised herself, she remained stoic waiting for round two. She never faltered. Sammie counted down again and as she pushed the earring through her little ear, Josie flinched ever so slightly. And that was it. Not a single peep or tear. No laugh, either, but that might have freaked me out anyway. Like she’d end up at one of those fetish conventions when she’s 18, hanging from the ceiling by her nipples or something equally heinous.
She slays me, this little jewel. She is fierce, determined, and decisive. And while she may grow up and forget that from time to time, I’ll be sure to send a pair of earrings to remind her.