Kids can surprise you.
We were finishing up the last of our back-to-school shopping on Saturday, walking from one end of our little mall to the other.
We passed by the local tween-ish jewelry store.
Lola slowed down, looking back over her shoulder almost imperceptibly.
"What?" I said, teasing her perhaps a little more than I probably should have. "You want to get your ears pierced?"
I've been asking her, mostly kidding, since she was about 4.
But this time, she smiled, shyly, but confidently.
The kid who screams bloody murder when she stubs a toe, the one who needs a bandage for every little scrape, even the ones that don't break the skin... she wants to get her ears pierced?
I was on dangerous ground here. I wanted to encourage her. But I would not lie to her.
I knelt down, looked her in the eye and asked her, "Are you sure?"
"It will hurt," I said. "It will hurt for just a minute, like when you get a shot. I know you can do it, if you want to. You're a big girl and Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you, whether you want to do this or not."
She rolled her eyes at me.
(She does this a lot now.)
And repeated, quietly, "I want to."
By now the clerk had come to join us, waiting to hear our ultimate decision.
I know my kid can be brave, when she wants to be.
But I'm also not stupid.
And there was no way I was going to have her walking around with one pierced ear for a dozen years or so.
"You can do them both at the same time?" I asked.
I told the nice store employee, on the sly, that it wouldn't surprise me if Lola backed out. But, yes, I'd like to start filling out the paperwork.
Lola took her place on the chair, a little nervous, but mostly excited.
She picked out the Hello Kitty studs.
I filled out the paperwork.
And the nice lady clipped back my older daughter's hair.
She drew dots on her earlobes.
And then it was time...
Now, with two nice store employees, they each took their position and lined up their needle guns.
Lola clutched my hand, grinning the whole time.
I told her she could close her eyes, if she wanted to.
... she cried out.
For just a split second.
Her face squinched and her eyes dropped big ol' crocodile tears.
Then, the nice ladies gave her a lollipop.
And I promised to let her pick out something special inside.
A minute later, she was just fine.
Lola the Brave.
She's growing up too darned fast.
- Bethany :)