Ada Bee gets in the car one day with me and says, "May I go to a Hannah Montana concert?"
"Why not? Kate Donahoe is going to a Hannah Montana concert."
"Well, I don't know who Hannah Montana is, and if you're going to a concert, it will likely be someone I've heard of, and remember, we don't do everything everyone else does."
"Okay, but Kate Donahoe is cool."
"I'm glad Kate is cool."
Two weeks later, she got in the car again.
"May I have my ears pierced?"
"Why not? Kate Donahoe has her ears pierced."
"No. Hush about Kate Donahoe."
"But Kate Donahoe is cool."
"I'm sure she is. No earrings till you're older."
And here, friends, was the fatal mistake.
"You can get them pierced six weeks before Easter of sixth grade. That way you can take out your piercing studs and wear pretty, new earrings on Easter morning. I got mine pierced six weeks before Sixth Grade graduation, but who knows if you'll have sixth grade graduation, so we'll go with Easter."
"Okay, great. I'll tell Kate Donahoe."
"Okay. Great. Tell Kate."
And that was the end of the Kate Donahoe coolness and of the Ears Piercing conversation.
Fast Forward until 2013.
"Mama - can I have my ears pierced for my tenth birthday? Sarah's having hers pierced for her tenth birthday."
"No. Not yet, sweetie."
"Okay, I guess I'll wait another year and a half.
"Wait wait - what?"
"Next spring, I'll be in sixth grade and so I'll have my ears pierced on February 18, 2015."
"Remember, Mama. You said, when I was four, that I could have them pierced on Ash Wednesday of Sixth Grade. That's February 18, 2015."
And, so I did. I blame Kate Donahoe's coolness. I blame my impulsive naiveté. I blame Ada Brooks's elephant-never-forgets brain. But, most of all, I blame reality. They're going to get big and leave at some point, and apparently, with pierced ears along the way. There is an artist I like, named Shannon Curfman. She sings a song called, 'I don't make promises I can't break.' It's an inappropriate for this situation broken hearted love balad, but... the sentiment rings true. I should quit making promises I have to keep. Lordy.
(If you enjoy raspy, bluesy rock, you should take a listen anyway. Shannon probably had her ears pierced when she was very young. No way she could sing like this if she hadn't.)
So, yesterday we all five (no Paul) traipsed out to Merle Norman (where I got my ears pierced some number of years ago). There she sat, on February 18, 2015, and had little holes punched in her little girl earl lobes. Except they're big girl ear lobes.
I didn't cry.
I actually feel myself letting go.
Now she is this big.
I'm glad God sent me a baby girl to ease the transition for me.
In 2026, when Elsa Gray will be in sixth grade, Easter will again be on April 5th. Ash Wednesday will again be on February 18th.
And then, I might not be so stoic.