To pierce or not to pierce

For the last few days Gracie has been in complete turmoil. Ever since she had a slumber party for her birthday and saw that the five girls who came over all had pierced ears, my daughter has been on a mission to psych herself up for what she imagines to be the most painful road to having ear bling. She decided she wanted her ears pierced but was convinced that the process was comparable to having barbaric rusty nails shoved through delicate ear lobes. No matter how much I explained that so many of her friends surely would’ve talked about the unspeakable pain involved if there had truly been pain beyond the nano second of a pinch to the lobe, Gracie was convinced it was akin to torture. She still wanted it though. The lure of bling is hard to resist.

Gracie didn’t buy anyone’s explanation but she was also torn between her desire to wear earrings and her intense fear of anything even remotely associated with saying “ouch.”

Yesterday, while looking at earrings in a store display, she summoned up the courage to announce that tomorrow would be the day she offered up her lobes, no matter how much pain she had to endure. Her lower lip quivered as she spoke and the fingers on her right hand lovingly clutched a pair of pink rhinestone-studded earrings.

I asked her whether she wanted to have her ears pierced at the jewelry store or the doctor’s office. After glancing at the less-than-sanitary looking cashier at the store, Gracie declared that it must be done in the sterile surrounding of the pediatrician’s office. So an appointment was made for the very next day.

Last night after prayers, Gracie started whimpering and then within seconds it accelerated into full blown sobbing. She had changed her mind. She wanted her ear lobes to stay the way God had made them.

This morning, after a good sleep, Gracie changed her mind yet again. She was ready. She wanted pierced ears but there was just one tiny condition. She wanted to know that she could change her mind if it was too painful after the first ear was done. I informed her that it was an all-or-nothing deal and that she could certainly change her mind right up to last minute but once there was a hole in one lobe there would definitely have to be a hole in the second one. She agreed and off we went to the doctor’s office.

If you happen to live in my town and were within the vicinity of the pediatrician’s office, in the parking lot, on the road or even three blocks over and heard what you thought was some out of control siren, it was just Gracie. No, she wasn’t screaming from the pain of having her ears pierced – she was screaming at the sight of the ear-piercing punch gun that the doctor held as he walked into the room. It was at that moment that all I was concerned with was getting my daughter out of the exam room, out of the building and away from everyone who didn’t want permanent hearing loss.

Maybe we’ll try again when Gracie turns 21.

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