Friday, February 20, 2009

Rites of Passage



I'm off one existential topic, and on to another. I've been thinking about rites of passage in a girl's life. The big ones, like being Bat Mitzvahed and losing your virginity, and the little ones, first high heels (black Capezio Character shoes, mary janes with modest little kitten heels), first lip gloss (Maybelline soft pink sparkle), first birth control pill prescription, first crush, first kiss, first dance, first bra, first Daisy shaver, first perfume...well, maybe not in that order...

Today after school, Hedgie got her ears pierced. On her way out of her school building, she was swarmed with earring-less friends, calling "good luck" and "you're sooooo lucky!" as we went. I was a bit trepidatious--was it sterile (eh, close enough, the studs came from a steri-pack and there was a great deal of alcohol involved, including the wine I drank beforehand, better than me sticking a sewing needle in there, anyway), was it even, was it too soon--but we went ahead anyway. It took a flat two minutes all told, and there she is, two tiny green stones sparkling at her tiny lobes, looking still, thank God, like a little girl. A little girl with one rite of passage behind her; many many more to come.

24 comments:

Jimmy Bastard said...

"...first Daisy shaver"

Dare I ask? I know how protective you lay-dees are of your floo-ers.

Maybe one day hen, I'll share with you a slightly different rites of passage.

kylie said...

how lovely!
i was never allowed earings as a little girl so my girls got their ears pierced for their fifth birthday.
(just as i wrote that i wondered if it was just a bit too much for me and not enough for them)
anyway, i think it's just nice for a girl to have her ears pierced and a littlegreen stone would suit her marvellously!

Leah said...

Jimmy--Daisy shaver, you know, the iconic pink lady's razor, first choice of the American pre-teen?

and your rites of passage--sounds ominous--or fun? Which? Or both?

Leah said...

Kylie--I'm glad to hear your girls have their ears pierced too! It is nice, isn't it? I had mine pierced when I was eleven, but decided not to make Hedgie wait.

Donn Coppens said...

I remember what a HUGE deal it was for both of my daughters. They couldn't stop smiling or looking in the mirror.

I guess you never considered doing the baby thingy..I was always a little unnerved by seeing hairless infant girls with the big ribbon thingamabob and pierced ears!
So totally Uber-80s!

savannah said...

supernana's ears were pierced when she was a year old. i didn't even think about it, it's such a cultural thing for me. hedgie looks adorable, sugar! ;) xoxo

Karen ^..^ said...

awww, She looks so cute, and so proud!!

I wasn't allowed to get my ears peirced, so when I turned 17 and ran away from home, that was first on my agenda.

Now I don't even wear earrings. Sheesh...

Cinnamon said...

Hedgie looks lovely- she will be queen of the schoolyard.

I love earrings, they are such lovely ways to express yourself!

kylie said...

i once heard oprah say that a real lady wont leave the house without earrings and lippy. i dont always qualify but i think it is a reasonable rule of thumb

Megan said...

You know, I remember the entire experience, but I have no flipping idea how old I was? I'll have to ping my oldest pal and see if she remembers...

And what about the first period? That was a big one, and no mistake.

Hedgie looks happy and beautiful!

Jimmy Bastard said...

"..iconic pink lady's razor, first choice of the American pre-teen?"

Ahhh... sorry I asked.

As for my version of R.O.P.
Truly harrowing, with a tinge of humour.

Random Chick said...

Oh wow...I remember when I got my ears pierced. It WAS a big deal. My six year-old daughter just lost her FIRST TOOTH! Rites of passage...they grow up waaaaay too fast.

Skeeter said...

Hi Leah,

Hedgie is growing up. This milestone is a big one for the girls. She looks so proud so those earrings too.

Best wishes to you all,

Skeeter

just bob said...

Maybe someday I'll grow up.

Suzanne said...

My mother wouldn't let me pierce my ears. I struggled with that at 11 and decided to take matters into my own hands. I froze the shit out of both earlops then decided to take the plug in the field between my mother's and grandmother's house. Yup. A needle. What do you think? Perfection. I'm an artist. I don't screw around. Even at 11. Trust me, I thought it all out. Took about five minutes! My mom and gram look at me is total disbelief. I cherish that memory to this day. I only wear pearls. I tried other crap, but really, I'm just about pearls. I remember being in photography class at UCLA and a fellow classmate said in a critique, "She wears the same earings every day." I replied "fuck off." And really, I meant it. I love my ears. I love my earings. Honestly, I do. I'll wear my pearls till I die.

XO

Suzanne said...

Heggie, you go girl!

MJ said...

I still remember my first drunk.

*sighs wistfully*

Leah said...

Megan--first period!!!! how could I have left that out!!!! I remember being SO excited. Now I think, why was I? Ah, periods.

just bob said...

How about your first exclamation point?

Leah said...

Donn--It's sweet, isn't it? But we definitely wouldn't have pierced her ears as a baby--I could barely clip her fingernails, let alone do that! and she was bald til nearly three, so...

Savannah--I agree, if it's the norm where you are, or culturally, then that's what you do. Besides, you can always get them earrings for a present then! I'm looking forward to that.

Karen--that's a true rite of passage then! Maybe you should start wearing them again? I love earrings.

Cinnamon--ditto, I adore earrings, especially swingy sparkly ones! And as for being queen of the schoolyard, she definitely will be...for a few days...but I believe we've started a trend, because already two other mothers have told me that they're going to let their girls do it because Hedgie did.

Kylie--that's an excellent rule.

Jimmy--I hope you'll share a Rite of Passage someday! I'd love to hear it.

RC--first tooth is HUGE! Did the tooth fairy come? Hedgie wouldn't part with her teeth, so I made her little crocheted bags for each one as they came out...

Skeeter--she is SO proud.

Just Bob--growing up is so overrated.

Suzanne--that's an awesome story. I pierced my step-dad's ears a few years ago, with a potato, a needle, and an ice cube. I did a great job, it was straight, and it never got infected!

MJ--how 'bout First Acid Trip?

Leah said...

Just Bob--and for that matter, first semi-colon. I actually, vaguely, remember that. I'm serious.

Megan said...

I remember my first drunk, too. It is definitely worth a wistful sigh!

;)

mago said...

The first self-earned money. It meant independence.

muralimanohar said...

I pierced dd's ears when she was 13 months. I used the little disposable stapler things. My mom, otoh, did mine when I was 6 weeks, with a needle. A freaking barbarian, I tell ya. Anyway..so yeah..the right of passage thing, I never did understand. But then, for us, it's cultural...be happy; at least we have held off with nose piercings til older! I've told dd she can pierce her nose when she is 18 and making her own decisions. :p I'm turning into an ADULT! (Oh, CRAP!! That's only three years from now!!!)