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“I have a google butterflies in my tummy! A thousand of them want to burst out of me!”

My seven year old had just summarized the excitement of this event most aptly. I’ll admit to being almost as giddy as she was. But before I continue, I should tell you about the road that led us to this moment. You see, today’s story really started one year ago:

The first glimmers of curiosity were tempered with apprehension, “What is it like mommy?…Does it hurt?…Will I cry?”

Over the next six months Trinity occasionally revisited the topic; asking the same questions and pondering the answers. You could almost see her mentally weighing the value of it against her fear of willingly placing herself in a situation that involved physical pain.

Pierced ears. It’s a special event in a girl’s life. I had to wait 13 agonizingly long years before I was allowed to take that step. While imposing no age restrictions or decrees on my daughter, I was adamant that the impetus for this event come from her. It had to be something she wanted to do with a full understanding that it involves a little pain and a six week commitment to careful care while they heal.

Her inquiries started to fluctuate between wanting more details of what the process entails, to asking if she could get her ears pierced one day, to deciding she didn’t want to. Thus far we had answered her questions of permission with vague “some day” answers.

Considering her continued interest in the topic, Andy decided to give her a special Christmas gift. Though going to get her ears pierced would be a mother-daughter affair, this was to be a special gift from him. A sort of acknowledgement that she is getting older and, while she will always be his little girl, he recognizes how important it is to let her grow into a young lady. He did the shopping himself and picked out a pair of small ruby earrings, her birthstone. Along with them she was given a pair of cute clip ons. It was a gift to let her know that if she wanted to, she could get her ears pierced but if she decided she wasn’t ready, she still had a fun pair to wear until she was. It was her decision. I was certain that, given the go-ahead, she would want to rush out that day. However, as excited as she was at the prospect, she just didn’t feel ready. “That’s okay,” we told her, “There is NO RUSH.”

Mysteriously, the topic died out after that. For six months we heard nothing on the subject at all. Then she started second grade.  That’s all it took. ONE day in second grade and the tide was turned. She was barely into the car after her first day when she made the decision. “I’m ready mom. I want to do it,” she stated. We set a date for the end of the week. It was a week filled with familiar questions, “Were you excited when you got your ears pierced, mommy? Did it hurt? Did you cry? Do you think I will cry? How much will it hurt?”

While apprehensive about facing a little pain, she was unwaivering in her decision that it was time. Today was the big day. I certainly shared in her excitement! She carefully chose her outfit so it would match the earrings she had chosen for the big event.  (Oh yes! We perused online to see what her options were ahead of time!) To mark the importance of the occasion I wore one of my favorite shirts. The one she always comments on when I wear it for a date with Andy or a girls night out with friends. Today, I was dressing up for HER, because important events warrant looking the part.

That brings us to a google butterflies. She was soon sitting in a tall chair in ‘Claire’s’ grasping my arm with both hands as all the preparations were made. Tears filled her eyes as she watched the sterilization process. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” I assured her. “I do,” she said through the tears. “I want to do it.” The exact spots were debated, corrected, and marked. Trepidation filled her eyes as two ladies took their places on either side of her. I stood in the center and she held both of my hands. “I love you. You’re so brave and you’re going to be just fine. It will be over before you know it,” I told her.

And then it was.

She leaned into me for a hug to chase away the temporary pain. “You DID it! It’s all over! Look how pretty they are!! Do you want to see?” I asked, knowing the excitement of seeing her newly pierced ears would erase all memory of the pain. My exhortations were soon joined by complete strangers, including a mother and daughter who, unbeknownst to Trinity, had been standing outside the store window watching the whole thing. “You were so BRAVE!” they said. “Those are such pretty earrings!!” A bashfully pleased look came over her face. She reached for the mirror being held out so she might inspect her new look.

Armed with cleaner, instructions, and an extra pair of earrings, we exited the store. “You know,” I said, “There is a very fancy and grown-up chocolate shop right over there. Do you think we should go pick out a special treat?” Well, as you can imagine, she thought that was a horrible idea and she much preferred to go pick out a nice head of broccoli. Just kidding…Had to see if you were paying attention! 😉

That is how we came to pick out the most delectable Petit Fours to bring home and celebrate with Daddy and Lilly. Of course, a little immediate gratification is sometimes in order so we plopped ourselves onto a bench and munched on a few cherry-sour candies for our own private celebration of the moment.

We made one more stop on the way home. Sushi is a favorite, but rarely indulged in, treat. It seemed a fitting dinner to commemorate the day. I mean, what says “Congratulations on a lifetime milestone” more than eel, avocado, and tempura shrimp?

Do you want to see her new look? 

I would have photographed the sushi but by the time we got home we were famished and, rather uncerimoniously, devoured our meal within minutes of our arrival.  Hunger pangs satiated, we took more time with the delicate and decadent petit fours and snapped a few pictures before savoring every bite:

Lilly offers a “Congratulations!” (or something like it) to Trinity with her special drink (featured here in the jammy pants she insisted on wearing during her nap and then refused to take off afterwards.)I loved celebrating this milestone with you Trinity! I look forward to celebrating many more to come. In fact, I have a google butterflies in my tummy when I think about it…

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