Little girls: Sugar and spice and earrings
Published March 30, 2005
Last weekend, many households in Baytown observed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
We did, too. But Saturday, we in the Nall house had a celebration of our own. Julia, my 6-year-old daughter, got her ears pierced.
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but one of Julia’s fears was conquered through this rite of passage.
I guess I can understand my daughter’s apprehension of someone shooting holes through her body with something actually called a “gun.” But it’s been nice to watch her grow out of it. In the past year, we’ve gone from “I’m never getting my ears pierced” to “I’ll do it when I’m 7” to “Mommy, I’m the only girl in my class who doesn’t have pierced ears! Can we go to the mall right now?”
When I was a kid, it wasn’t the fear I had to get past to get my ears pierced. It was my dad.
Bless his heart. He never meant to be an uptight prude. And really, he wasn’t. He was a minister, but not one of those ministers from that “Footloose” movie who never wanted anybody to have any fun. In high school, I was allowed to date like everyone else, and he even liked most of the music I listened to.
But pierced ears were different. According to my dad, back in his day, girls with pierced ears were the kind who had “loose morals.” As an 8-year-old, I didn’t know what “loose morals” were. But I was a little worried. I knew that at one time I did have “loose molars.”
So my mom did what any God-fearing, husband-respecting, minister’s wife would have done. She waited until my dad went out of town. Then she took me to get my ears pierced.
To make a long story short, my dad completely freaked. Then he spent the next several years calming down.
Then I got to high school, and guess what? The girls who had bad reputations weren’t necessarily the ones who wore earrings. They were the ones who, well, did things to earn bad reputations. I never once heard a guy say to his buddies, “I’m going to ask that girl out this weekend. She just got her ears pierced, and you know what that means!”
Considering what I went through to get my ears pierced, it was kind of nice to take Julia to San Jacinto Mall Saturday with no worries other than Julia’s nervousness. For moral support, we were joined by Meagan Springer, Julia’s best friend from school, and Meagan’s mom, Toni. Meagan got her ears pierced, too, and the two friends sported matching earrings to school on Tuesday.
And the great news is that my dad was fine with Julia’s decision. He’s chilled out quite a bit since I was 8.
Some time I’ll write about what I had to go through to start wearing make-up. Turns out that in “Dad Land,” make-up was also a requirement for having loose morals. But I’ll have to devote another column to that subject. Or maybe a special edition of the newspaper. (“Read All About It! Deana’s Neurotic, But Well-Meaning, Dad!”)
I know right now is the time to enjoy being the mother of a girl, so I’m going to treasure these little rites of passage as they come.
I know that in a few years, it will be my turn to completely freak.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.