McCanless asked once again, like she does every other week or so, expecting the same answer.

“So, Clare Bear, want to get your ears pierced?”

We were on our way home from a beach weekend with just Daddy and the Girls Team.  I guess with time in the car, McCanless ponders those important things in life that 8-year-olds think about.   When exactly would Mary Clare say yes?  Typically, MC presses her lips in a fine line, crosses her arms and refuses to even talk about it, answering, “NEVER!”

That’s why I’m still in shock about this.

“Mom allowed me to get my ears pierced when I was five.”  “You should so get your ears pierced.”  “We can share earrings and get lots of big sparkly earrings!”  (I think McCanless was six, but either way, I didn’t want to do it then either.)  Obviously, I have two girls who adore all things sparkly.  I can handle glitter hair, costumes, sequin jewelry even.    I do, however, draw the line at “long” earrings, or “hang down” earrings, as my girls say.  This natural obsession is rather ironic because I can honestly count on one hand how many pairs of earrings I own, and honestly, six out of seven days, I have on my standard pearls.

Big daddy pulled into the closest Belk he could find and when I asked him what in the world he was doing, he replied, “Don’t you go to the make-up counter to get this done?”

“Get what done?”

“Didn’t you hear her?  She said, yes.  MC wants earrings.  I’m taking her now.”

An hour and a half later, much closer to home and after plenty of time to back-down, we drove up to the Florence Mall.  Claire’s Boutique was the only place I knew of that would do this on a Sunday, and after I  asked no less than 300 times if she was sure and explained the process at length (needles, pain, maybe blood, the whole nine yards), she was more determined than ever to actually go through with it.  I even told Mel we should probably wait and ask her doctors.  He looked at me as if I had completely lost my mind.

My Mary Clare wanted real earrings and it would happen whether I was ready for it or not.

She climbed up into the tall stool and chose the sparkliest diamond earrings she could find on the “Beginning Stud” display.  McCanless was beside herself, excited.  (I silently told the young girl to down size them.  I tried to convince her to get the teeny, tiny gold balls, to no avail.  Bling it was.)

She smiled and watched wide-eyed, as two young girls pierced her ears.  I held my breath waiting for the tears.  Honestly, I just knew she was going to be furious with us once she felt it.

Just like that.  It was over.

She never hesitated.  Never frowned.  Nothing.  She jumped up and ran to the mirror to see, then happily chose two dozen cheesy multi-colored cupcake studs for her jewelry box.

I was in disbelief.  She was such a big girl and didn’t shed one single tear.  I, on the other hand, was an emotion wreck and a blubbering mess.  Not sure if it was the realization that my sweet baby is getting to be such a big girl, or something else.

This girl, who has been through so much,

this baby, who continues to defy odds,  and who teaches me so much, simply takes my breath away.

The big milestones, the everyday milestones, even sparkly diamond studded ones, remind me to thank God for each and every single moment.


kate (favorite aunt)  on September 18th, 2012

Clare, I love it!!! Let’s go shopping!! Cannie can come too!!

Nonnie  on September 20th, 2012

Such as big girl-makes me want to cry-to see Cannie and Clare growing up so fast! Sullivan will be playing t-ball before we know it!