Mia got her ears pierced last Sunday. She had been asking about it for a year now, but I kept brushing her off thinking she was too young. I don’t remember when I got my ears pierced, but I know I was older so I assumed that she would be older too, but really…some things don’t really work that way these days. I came around to letting her get them pierced because she rarely asks for things persistently and she rarely wants something so bad and I thought surely my parents would back me up that she was too young, but neither of them batted an eye about it (they sure made me wait).
So how do you decide when your kid is old enough? I know they’re just tiny studs- and she won’t be wearing dangly earrings until she’s a teenager I’ve decided – but it’s more than that. Like some kind of rite of passage, the first of other similar milestones to come. Next up in 5 years or so she might ask to dye her hair or maybe she’ll want to start wearing lip gloss to school and god knows what else. But we’ve all been there. It’s how I ended up with 11 holes in my ears, most of them self inflicted and a few other piercings and purple hair (but no tattoos!), so it’s just funny how we find ourselves on the other side, often with the reactions of oh hell no. Now you’re acting like a parent.
Sometimes these girls want to grow up so fast. I think they look and act age appropriate for the age they’re at right now, but it might be a whole other story in a few years. Claudine is already saying that she can’t wait to be an adult so that she can be an artist – an artist who gets paid, as she argues when I tell her that she’s already an artist. She gets excited when she thinks about all the abundant supplies she’s going to buy with her own money. “I’m going to have 2 of everything so I never run out. 2 packs of crayons, 2 sets of markers, 2 sets of glitter paint…” (I always laugh when I think of the adult Claudine, a serious artist, creating art for sale with a pack of crayons). The two of them are always talking about what they’re going to do when they grow up and where they’re going to live.
We spend the early part of our lives wishing time would speed up and the latter part of our lives wishing it would slow way the hell down. Sometimes when I think about my mom being my age with an 18 year old (me) it freaks me out because I can’t imagine myself with an 18 year old. An 8 year old is almost bad enough because when I stop to think about it I can’t believe I have an 8 year old either. Then I realize that part of all this is a reaction because we’re aging right along with them. Maybe we try to hold on to our kids as long as we can because a small part of us is afraid to get old.
(btw, Claudine was not jealous of Mia’s earrings at all. Not one bit. She hung on to Mark while she tried not to watch while Mia got it done. Frankly, she was quite horrified by the whole thing).