My daughter, Tabitha, turned 11 yesterday.

Julie and I waited for her bus at the end of the driveway. When she got off we told her we had a birthday surprise for her. She began guessing what the suprise might be?

When we arrived at our local mall we went straight to Claire’s Boutique. As we approached the entrance to Claire’s, Tabs asked, “Am I getting my ears pierced?” (Tabs had been begging us for at least two years to let her get her ears pierced.) “Yes, that’s your birthday surprise!” To which Tabs responded, “I don’t want to get my ears pierced.” Ummm, we had no plan B.

Tabs was suddenly struck with utter terror at the possibility of pain. I tried to reason/manipulate . . . “Tabs, if you don’t get your ears pierced today then you’re going to have to wait until your 16th birthday.” “Okay daddy.” “Hmmmm.” (Once again, Tabs had been begging us for at least two years to let her get her ears pierced!)

The girl at the counter (with multiple piercings), explained the piercing procedure. “It really won’t hurt honey. And, I’ll have my assistant help so that we can do both ears at the same time.”

Tabs acquiesced.

As my 11 year old daughter sat in the piercing chair I fought back tears. Not only because she was white as a sheet with terror but also because this was a rite of passage–my little girl was continuing on her journey of growing up.

In the end she chose her November birth stone for her first pair of earrings–citrine, which is yellow, and also her daddy’s favorite color. It really didn’t hurt much at all . . . at least not for Tabitha.