Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Rite of Passage

I decided when I was 5 that I wanted my ears pierced. I wanted my ears pierced SO badly, but my mom said earrings were for older children, and I would have to wait for my 13th birthday. The years dragged for me. Every opportunity I got, I bought stick-on earrings. But those were a pathetic substitute for the real deal. Finally, my 13th birthday arrived. My dad took me to the mall, and I got my ears pierced with little, sapphire studs. And I walked on Cloud 9 for the next month!

Just 3 months later, my sister's best friend got her ears pierced. Naturally, my sister wanted to get her ears pierced, too. To my shock, horror, and utter frustration, my parents gave in. Jenny was just a month shy of 10 when she got her ears pierced. That Was NOT Fair! At that moment, I decided that if I ever had a daughter, I would let her get her ears pierced whenever she wanted.

About a month ago, Snapper began talking about wanting to get her ears pierced. I explained to her that it only hurts a little bit, and that the sting goes away quickly. So for the lat month she has hemmed and hawed, trying to gather the courage to face the pinch. On Sunday, she came dancing out of Sunday School, bubbling over with enthusiasm. The class had discussed Joshua 1:9, and had each given a fear to God. Snapper announced that she was ready to get her ears pierced because God had taken away her fear! We decided to go after lunch.

At the restaurant, Snapper and I had a talk. I explained to her that piercing studs are expensive, and that once they are out of the packaging, we have to pay for them. Once the package was open, there was no backing out. No changing her mind. Not for anything. Open the package and we are 100% committed, and no amount of screaming would change that commitment. She thought for a moment, and then agreed. We shook on it.

When we arrived at Merle Norman, Snapper bounced into the store and announced that she was not afraid to get her ears pierced! The lady helped her pick out some very pretty earrings--silver wire flowers with a sapphire rhinestone center. Snapper washed her hands and climbed into the chair. The lady cleaned Snapper's ears, drew on dots where the earrings would go, and then OPENED THE PACKAGE. And just like that, Snapper's eyes turned red, horns popped out on her head, her nails turned to claws, and her teeth turned to fangs.

She totally flipped out.

After several reminders of our agreement, Snapper was still not relenting. Matt and I took her outside to let her cool down. She paced the sidewalk, muttering under her breath and crying. Over the course of the next 45 minutes, we talked with Snapper about unreasonable fear, about temper, about choices, about God, etc. We also reminder her that we had made an agreement, and that we were not leaving until she went through with getting her ears pierced.

Finally, Snapper took a few big breaths. She clenched her fists and marched to the door of the store. She pressed her forehead against the door and sobbed oh so dramatically for about 10 seconds. Then she straightened up, and with sheer determination on her face, flung open the door and marched to the piercing chair. It ended up being another 10 minutes before she was ready. The lady washed the ears again. When she was drawing the first dot, she slid the piercing gun in and pierced the first ear. It took about 3 seconds for Snapper to realize what had happened. She grabbed her ear, looked in the mirror, and erupted into...well, I'm still not sure what it was. All I know is that it involved hysterical tears, a flow of snot, giddy, loud laughter, and a wide-open mouth. She shook all over doing this laugh/cry/giggle/snort thing for about 2 minutes. I told her to quit crying, that she was totally fine, and she blubbers out, "I'm not crying, Mom! I'm laughing so hard I'm crying tears of happiness!"

There was no protest over the second ear, merely a scrunched up face, tightly closed eyes, and clenched fists. Then it was done. And out of Snapper poured a stream of profuse apologies--to me, to Matt, to the sweet lady who patiently endured the tirade.

"Guess what Mom? You were right! I was all worked up over nothing! It didn't hurt at all! Not one little bit! And look at my earrings! They are SO pretty! Everyone is going to want to just sit and stare at me because I am just so beautiful with these earrings! But you were sure right, Mom!"

Go figure! Mom was right? Wow...what a concept!

So we have passed through another rite of passage. Snapper has pierced ears. And the performance she gave? Well, I wouldn't be surprised to hear her name when Oscar nominations are announced.
(Click the picture to enlarge the scrapbook page I made of the piercing day)


Stef said...

looks great, Em! You have real talent, that's for sure!!

We had a similar feeling about the ear piercing thing. Jason's sister had to wait until she was 16 and it became such a major issue it was awful. Then, when she got them, they were always huge and obnoxious looking. It was like they turned a simple thing, into a bad thing.
Then we knew a lot of kids between the ages of 1 year and 10 years who would get them pierced, then touch them or take them out and get infections, etc...
so when our girls were both 6 months, they got them pierced.
If they don't like it when they're older, the hole's close up nicely. :)

Tara said...

Getting my ears pierced scared me too! I got them done the first time and wouldn't let my mom clean them so I had to let them grow up. Got them done a second time.

Good for Snapper...facing her fear although it took some time and drama. Next time, maybe she'll remember how you were right:-) LOVE the scrapbook page. I feel like I was right there with y'all!

Smarshie said...

I remember getting my ears pierced. I was 12 and a lady from the mall actually came to our house. My whole family watched. I grabbed a pair of rolled-up socks to bite when the gun went to my ear (so I wouldn't scream).

What a great (drama-filled) story to remember with Snapper years from now. =)

Tammy Warta said...

This had me laughing so hard. Snapper, I love you and miss you!

Candice said...

Lauren has been begging for over a year. I had mine done for my birthday when I turned 6 and thought I was the coolest thing since sliced bread. :) Jess is of the same mindset as your parents so we're still working on wearing him down. :)