I had my ears pierced at 13, but I don't remember feeling like I was the last of the hole-less ears to be impaled on my block. Big Sis, however, is fairly surrounded by friends, neighbors, classmates--and now relative, as her cousin just got hers done--with pierced ears. Our little girl who was formerly a little frightened of the process is suddenly feeling very left out.
But I don't want to budge on making her wait on this "milestone." Actually, I already budged. In a knee-jerk compromise, I promised she could have her ears pierced when she finished elementary school. She'll be...eleven? Twelve? That's less than thirteen, our original threshold, after all...
Nevertheless, I find myself examining my rationale for delaying the inevitable. It's not a moral debate. I don't think ear-piercing is dirty or inappropriate or scandalous or that she can't take care of her ears or earrings. My reluctance comes from deep in my gut...from the same place that spawns overwhelming urges to scoop her up and hold her tight and stunt her growth, somehow.
I just don't want my child to have holes in her skin...yet. She's my child...still a child. There's only so much time for being one, and for looking like one. For sporting kids' clothes and flat shoes and pigtails and a gap-toothed smile. She feels too little and unmarred for now. I can't want her to have earrings.
I am very comfortable upholding and maintaining parenting stances that go a bit against the grain, even if everyone else is doing it, Mom! And I know my daughter will accept the limits we determine.
Still I can't help asking myself if this is more about me than about her. About ideals of Peter Pan and elusive innocence I am transferring to my daughter. Is this a hill to die on, especially when Big Sis has already packed up her big guns in favor of silent longing? Should there be a reward for sweet acquiescence?
Your thoughts are welcome; I'm all ears (with five holes).