On Friday evenings for the past two years Mary and I have taken Maggie to her ballet class followed by a supper in a restaurant. Lately we have been going to the local Mexican place, where the girls can get a cheese quesadilla and I can order shrimp fajitas and a Corona. But with a 10K race this morning, I didn't want to risk upsetting my sensitive stomach so we hit Olive Garden instead (which proves to me that even salad and veggie soup in a restaurant is fattening- I gained 2 pounds).
But while Maggie is dancing, Mary and I go to Michaels and pick up craft supplies, or last night visit the mall for something to do. After we found a new outfit for her, she asked to walk down to Claires and check out the cheezy jewelery. A middle age woman was getting her ears pierced and I asked if we could watch. Mary was horrified and fascinated at the same time and I jokingly asked her the same question I have posed to her several times before, "Do you want to get your ears done?" We drifted around the mall for another 10 minutes before she pulled on my hand, and said, "Yes." With determination she sat in the chair, clutching a stuffed bear, and starting to go cold and clammy as the woman cleaned her lobes and marked dots on her ears with a purple marker. "Yes, those are even," I said after making the woman re-mark one side. Ten minutes later, we walked out of the mall, Mary clutching her bag with cleaning solution. We agreed to let Maggie discover the change in her sister for herself, but Mary's triumphant grin just provoked the younger girl until we had to tell her what we had done.
My prediction of what Maggie would say was right on the mark, "Why can't I get my ears pierced?" she whined. "When you are 11 and show some responsibility, like keeping your side of the room clean," I replied.
No one else in the family knows about Mary's mutilation, so who knows how long it will be noticed, perhaps not until Tim reads this blog or looks at the credit card receipt. But I do know we passed a milestone of childhood last night and I am proud of my little girl for learning to overcome a natural fear of pain to accomplish one's desire. I look back at my neurotic fear of childbirth and reflect that if I hadn't overcome that terror, I wouldn't have 6 beautiful children who keep me company as well as pester me every day.