Monday, June 8, 2009

Two More Holes in Her Head

My sweet firstborn, Catriona, added 2 more holes to her noggin today. At Claire's.

We talked about getting her ears pierced for her 10th birthday next month. To be honest, she wasn't exactly bowling me over with incessant declarations of desire, so I was just going to let it happen, or not. But as I was thinking about what a great year she's had, thinking about how hard she's worked, all she's learned and all she's taught...and thinking about more practical things, like if she has to wear the studs for 6 weeks, earrings as a b-day present would be sort of a dud since she can naught but stick them in a drawer for a month and a half... So I offered last night that she could get them done whenever she wanted, if she was still interested.

Sweet thing just needed to be uncorked - she was beside herself with joy. Tomorrow? Ok, tomorrow. She never told me until my offer, that aside from the girl who vowed never to get her ears pierced, she was the only girl in her class without the ability to accessorize her lobes. Hm. What do I know? She's my first. We had to wait until we were 16 when I was a kid (though being the youngest of 7 girls, I do believe I shaved a few years off of that and found myself in the chair at about age 12).

Her enthusiastic response put a trip to the mall on the schedule for after school today. In the middle of a storm. Which she never noticed.

When we arrived, I was certain all bets would be called off. Right in the entrance by the piercing chair, there was a girl just a year or two younger than Cate crying as her mother tried to coax her with words and a few physical yanks, to sit and go through with it. I watched Cate, expecting her to change her mind. I'm sure she ran through her options, but then I had an idea. After getting Cate's permission, I told the store manager to offer to the girl's mother that Cate go first so the young girl can see how it goes before opting in or out. The manager skipped talking to the mom and went right to the girl with the deal. The mom skipped any answer from the daughter and told Cate that yes, that might work. So Cate went first.

Here is the last shot of her kiddie-clear earlobes, with an anticipatory grin between them -

I did not get the photos of them being done because it took only seconds and because I wanted to be ready in case there was a squeal or any other drama. There wasn't even the slightest flinch.

All done -

The younger girl continued her resistance for a minute, but by the time Cate had picked out additional earrings to buy (to put in a drawer for 6 weeks), the girl was in the chair, on her mother's lap. Two seconds and a few tears later we were all cheering for the girl. She'd done it.

After the relief of having it over with wore off for Cate, I could see her face being taken over by the thrill of entering the realm of big girls with this rite -

We needed to do something for Addie since she had to sit in her push chair for all this, so we went to the tiny play area in the mall for her to run around. I was commending Cate for her bravery, amazed that she had not so much as grimaced. I had to ask, wondering how much things had changed since I had mine pierced so many years ago, "didn't it hurt even for a second? Your face never changed - smiling the whole time!" I marveled.

She said that yeah, it hurt for a second actually, but "I didn't want to break my smile for the girl because I hoped she would still want to get hers done." That comment invoked the first tears of the event for us - mine. I get to live with the kindest person I know. That earned her a trip to nab some ice cream while we waited for the storm to subside a bit.

Addie liked that part of the ceremonial piercing best of all -

On the way home my eyes floated a bit again. I checked her in the rear-view mirror a few times as we drove slowly through the dark drenched streets. Every time I glanced, she had that "the world is my oyster" grin with the matching knowing squint to her eyes. You remember that look from when you were a kid? When you felt kinda bad for anyone that wasn't you that day? I live to see that look on my daughters' faces.

Despite the thunder and lightening, the wind, the wicked angle of a driving rain, the tornado warnings in surrounding areas... it was in fact, a day I think Cate and I will always remember as exceptionally bright and glittery.


Cindy said...

Yep, she's got that look on her face: "Now I'm really one of the crowd...ALL the other girls have them and now I do too!" I think I was 16 before I had that look.

And I'm so proud of Cate too, for caring how she looked for the girl watching her. What a selfless example.

Tarah said...

She looks adorable.

So glad she had a good experience.