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Aidan got her ears pierced yesterday.

She was feeling brave, determined, and ready. When she turned eight in July, we told her she had permission to get her ears pierced, but it had to be her decision. She was to let us know when she was ready. Shortly before Christmas, she announced the time had come.

Earlier in the day, she sat beside me at my grandmother’s funeral. Her back was straight. Her hands were folded. I admired her composure and maturity and remembered this was her second funeral in three weeks. She knew what to do, a wiser child now than in November.

After the service there was a reception. Little round sandwiches were served with lemonade, brownies, jello salads with marshmallows. She shook hands shyly and tried to answer the questions of strangers. Rarely-seen family faces kissed her and asked how third-grade is going.

“Fine,” she answered.

It was time to go home, but we didn’t feel like going home. Extended family scattered and expressed the need to sleep in their own beds for a change. My parents wanted to go back to Grand Junction and we felt alone, so we went to a mall for a little distraction. It was pre-Christmas busy, which irritated our post-Christmas and fresh-from-a-funeral selves. The kids had Christmas money to spend and Aidan wanted to shoot faux rubies through her pristine lobes.

She held my hand when the assistant manager of the kiddie jewelry store asked if she was ready. Hubby and the four boys watched, along with everyone in the store and shoppers through the window. Two clicks and an “it didn’t hurt?!” later, and my daughter seemed 10 seconds older, not years older as I imagined it would seem. Maybe it was because so much has been asked of her lately that the milestone of ear-piercing seemed relatively insignificant. I always thought I would get at least misty-eyed, but I didn’t. Instead, I respected her and was awed by her. The timing of her decision reflected her changed eyes—the emotions of the past year, the things she’s seen and grown to understand a bit more. She is growing up.

A mirror was held in front of her face. The two sparkly little rubies could not compete with her sparkly eyes as she admired her ears: “I am never wearing my hair over my ears again!” she announced.

Okay, so maybe she still has some growing up to do.

12 comments to Pierced

  • Aidan sounds like such a remarkable little girl. How poignant that such a sad day could hold some celebration of getting older.

    Hopefully it makes going back to school next week a little more enjoyable with such sparkly ears to show off.

  • We told my DD she could get her ears pierced when she turned 7. Her 7th birthday was last Friday, but she’s decided she wants to wait til summer to get them pierced. Now you need to post a pic of Aiden with her bejeweled ears!

  • I love the picture of her sitting straight backed and hands folded, what a little lady. Congratulations on your piercings Aiden.

  • I know you must be so very proud of Aidan as she matures into a lovely young lady. I love the juxtaposition of her shy, little girl self with the brave, grown up Aidan who got her ears pierced in front of the whole (mall) world.

  • Okay, so how did you all decide on the magical age of ear piercing? I keep telling my 7-year-old-as-of-tomorrow that she can do it when she’s “older” but not really know when “older” is. What made you decide on 8 (or 7)?

  • You paint delightful pictures with your words!

  • Way to go Aidan and Mom! Kylie has been told that 8 is the magic age as well…10 months and counting.

  • That is just lovely. You’ll always remember her getting her ears pierced as a time of emotional growth for her.

  • Very sweet! Your little girl sounds lovely!

    I am glad that you are settled at home and are able to relax after all that has come your way these past few weeks.

    God bless you and your family.

  • mopsy

    Megan~we decided on eight mostly because it “sounded” old enough. Plus, we felt she was at the point she could do a good job tending her ears as they healed.

    Originally, I wanted her to wait until she was about 12. It was going to be a mid-puberty-pick-me-up sort of thing: “Cheer up! While waiting for your face to clear and your braces to come off, let’s get your ears pierced!” philosophy. I guess *I* couldn’t wait. I think if I had several daughters, it would be easier to wait, but since she is my only daughter I am very anxious for those girly mom-and-daughter moments.

    Thanks, everyone. She is a lovely girl.

  • Stacey

    Lucky girl! My mom made us wait ’til we were 12, but she did bend the rules a little bit and let me get them a few months before my 12th birthday.

    I bet she looks adorable!

  • I was so impressed with Aidan when I met her–she seems so spirited and she has to be, with all those little brothers to take care of. I hope this new year brings you joy to equal the sadness you suffered through this last year.

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