Today I had one of those moments where you're reminded that once you become a parent the term "just Wednesday" no longer exists. My oldest daughter, Addison, is 7 years old and decided that it was time to get her ears pierced. She has been hounding me about this for a month, but we've just never found the time. We're a busy family. Someone always has a practice or a game, etc. But, tonight was an "off" night and so I asked her if she'd like to go have it done while we had time. Of course she jumped at the chance, and practically skipped all the way to car.
However, I noticed when I looked in the rear-view mirror that she wasn't quite as certain as she'd been when it was only a possibility. Now that it was really going to happen, she was having second thoughts. I asked her if she still wanted to go, and she asked the same question we all ask, "Will it hurt?" I really try to be honest with my kids, so I told her that it would hurt some, but if she wanted it done she'd have to endure a little bit of pain. Then the next question, "Will you hold my hand?" I absentmindedly said "sure" as I reached to answer my ringing phone.
We got to the mall and rushed to the store because we had a few more stops to make and I wanted to "get this done." Addi got to pick her own studs and of course she picked the expensive ones. Go figure, my diva daughter wants the glitter butterflies. Ok, fine, butterflies it is. I filled out the paper work as the salesgirl set up her station and Addison climbed hesitantly into THE CHAIR. She squeezed my hand and shut her eyes tightly. In they went, no problem. Well, that was quick and painless...or so I thought.
Addison jumped down off the chair and admired her new look in the mirror. The salesgirl said, "You did so great! And now you have your ears pierced. They'll be that way forever!" Wait...she's right. How did I not see this coming? One minute I was trying to scramble and just get this over with so that I could continue on with my "to do" list. Now all of the sudden I was the one with the deer in the headlights look. Forever. Yes, forever. This was one of those moments that my daughter would likely remember for the rest of her life. Her entire future flashed before my eyes in a matter of seconds. I imagined all of the reasons that she would be putting earrings in her ears. Prom, maybe a job interview, a night out with girlfriends, perhaps even some sentimental heirloom worn in honor of a loved one on her wedding day. This day deserved much more credit than I'd originally given it.
I looked at my beautiful daughter and smiled, told her how proud I was of her bravery, and although I could imagine her as a woman I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that she'd chosen the glitter butterflies. For now, in this one special moment, she is still my little girl.