Letting the bad spirits out
By Robin DearingI was sitting at my desk last week when I received a call from Margaret. "Mama, I wanna get my ears pierced after school today." I told her that I'd have to talk to her dad and we'd decide if and when she could make more holes in her wee 6-year-old body. Bill filled me in that she had spent a good portion of the morning trying to jam an earring she received for her birthday into her holeless lobe. I got my ears pierced (the first time) when I was in the 6th grade (my Gramma Dearing, unbeknownst to my parents, got me certificate to get them pierced for Christmas). I think 11 is an OK age to get one's ears pierced. Six is just too young, in my opinion — but on this, I got overruled. If I had wanted, I could have vetoed the ear piercing plan, but daddy and daughter seemed to think that now was the time. And I've learned that sometimes it's OK for Bill to make decisions on his own. Really I assumed that she would chicken out. Saturday morning, Bill and I woke up to a couple pointy 1st-grader knees to the chest and the proclaimation, "I'm getting my ears pierced today!" I proceeded to tell Margaret how much it was going to hurt and how she would have to keep them clean and I threw in some infection horror stories just to plant my seed of terror. Then I got up and went to help some friends move. Bill took Margaret to the mall. A couple hours later, I was talking to a girl with freshly pierced ears. I was shocked. I was sure that my tales of pus and gore and the general fear she has of pain, would dissuade her. But as she told me this morning, the desire to have pretty earlobes was much bigger than the fear of a little pain. The surprising thing is that how punching two tiny holes into our daughter has changed her. Sunday she happily practiced her piano (normally piano practice is a tear-soaked endeavor) and Monday morning she got herself dressed and she ate her breakfast without a fuss. Perhaps, she had some bad spirits cooped up in her ears that the piercing let out.