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Growing up fast

Thursday Morning Araiya came bouncing into our room. Matt was already out the door & 6:50 is far too early for me to be functional, let alone field issues of Daddy said vs. Mommy said. “Daddy is taking me on a Daddy Date to the Mall today and I’m getting my ears pierced!” She announces. Say what? She was pretty convinced, and we have said for over a year now that when she decides she is ready to do it, we can do it. Mind you Araiya is already dressed & ready to go do this thing she’s got her head wrapped around, so it’s very hard to convince Miss Instant Gratification that wait does not mean no. Matt rolls back home around 8, verifies the whole ear piercing idea is okay, and we tell her she has to wait another 3 unfathomably long hours for piercing places to open. But that’s for eeeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeerrrrrrr!!! I tell her she’ll survive.

In all honesty, this is not something out of the blue. She’s been rolling around the idea for over a year. About a month ago I once again prompted the idea that if she were to want to get her ears pierced for her 5th Birthday we should do it then, so they will be all healed by her actual birthdate & she can ask for earrings for gifts. See, the logical and obviously clear reasoning of my timing is lost on the Preschool crowd. For Araiya, she needs to make her mind up on her own. I see this as a precursor for what is to come. As parents, we need to teach her and guide her so she is able to make wise decisions on her own. And that involves actually allowing her to make some decisions for herself on her own timing when it’s right for her. Not all, but we have chosen (at least at this point) some. Of course this has come with a lot of guidance & explanation from us. She was very intent on having them pierced one at a time with a needle and not the guns. I too agreed (and had some influence on Araiya’s reasoning), though found that proved harder than anticipated, as most of the legit piercing shops have minimum age requirements. In this case, Matt made the final decision on where to go and Araiya had an opportunity to experience what submitting to her Daddy’s decision looks like within the context of parental authority and freedom of making her own choice to have her ears pierced. In the end she was content, flipping to be equally exuberant about having two gal’s do it at the same time as with a needle one at a time. Go figure.

So by 11:45, this pierced ears thing now consuming the entirety of the day thus far, we roll into Lily’s Pampering Salon on Queen Anne. Araiya insisted on wearing a nice dress, and even allowed me to french braid her hair (not gonna lie, there was screaming for that) so it would be out of the way. Word had gotten out among the small people in our house, via images on Lily’s website, that this was an establishment that had hair bows. And headbands. And you could get your nails done. And your hair curled. And buy necklaces. And cupcakes. I’d say it’s about 4 notches down from what I would consider my worst girly nightmare. If you know me at all, you might be slightly aware of my ever so slight aversion to all things overly girly and/or pink. I say that with the upmost amount of sarcasm. 15 years ago I likely might have made the finger down the throat to induce vomiting gesture when walking by this type of place. But I’ve matured. This time Matt and I simply exchanged OMG is this place for real glances as we were met at the door with a large waft of the flowery-fruity-perfumy stuff which laced the air. Mostly, I was entertained by the prospect of how our girls would react. I had already spent nearly half an hour earlier talking Araiya down from her lofty ideas she could go here and not only get her ear’s pierced, but her hair curled & sprayed with glitter. And yes, for only $79.99 she could also get her toe nails painted, be served a selection of petite cookies and receive an entire half hour of pampering. I can see the lust and covet signals forming in her eyes (thankfully prior to heading out she took well to the very logical notion that if she were getting her ear’s pierced it wouldn’t be a good idea to also get her hair done, out of concern something might tug at the fresh earring).

We got about a foot and a half in the door and Tallis stops dead in her tracks, her breath catches. Slowly, in trepidation, her arm raises, index finger extends. “Mommy, they have lip gloss… with glitter!!” Yes, we had walked into a little girl’s dream come true.

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Araiya was very intent and to the point. She knew exactly what she’d come her to do. There was no wavering, her mind was set. The hardest part was selecting which color rhinestone she wanted. She eagerly half bounced, half was lifted into a chair where they marked her lobes. As the guns, er… Ear Piercing Machines, as Matt insisted we call them, were prepped, she had one moment I thought was wavering. Her eyes looked down to her hands in her lap.

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I put my hands on her shoulders. ”Are you excited?”

“Yes.”

“Are you a little nervous?”

“Y–No.”

“I’m proud of you.”

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So then, sitting on my lap under the gaudy crystal chandelier, deer in the headlights look, she held perfectly still as the guns were adjusted on her ears. A quick, hollow *click* – she barely flinched. I think she was for a millisecond stunned, frozen. It’s done. She didn’t cry. But she surely burst into a huge excited smile when they held up a mirror for her. She said it didn’t hurt at all. Beaming, she bounced out of the store, down the street and back to the car.

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It was amazing to see her so excited. To see the accomplishment of walking through something with anxiety and uncertainty. It was a very grown up decision to want to pierce her ears. I’m proud of her for doing this, though I’m pretty sure she knows that ;-)

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