Namine has had a busy day today. She got to dye Easter eggs with both sides of our families, and she even got her ears pierced.
Easter eggs galore
We dropped Namine off at my parents’ house this morning. We had some errands to run, and we thought it would be much more fun for Namine to dye eggs with them rather than be dragged along with us. I think we were right.
In years past, we’ve dyed eggs with Namine the simple way — a bowl of colored water and a spoon. Simply dip the eggs in your desired color, and there you go. Not this year. My parents and sister had something a little more involved planned this time around, with paint brushes and q-tips. This enabled the artsy little girl to create pictures, rather than just make colored eggs. She painted a cross on one. Then she took it back, painting a little more. “It’s Jesus on the cross,” she explained.
I’m glad to know that she remembers, even when no one is explicitly bringing it to her attention, the real reason for Easter. It also makes me happy to know that Jessica and I are always in her thoughts, as evidenced by her Mom- and Dad-painted eggs.
When we returned to my parents’ house, we split up. Jessica drove with my mom and sister to a baby shower that they were all attending, and I took Namine to Jessica’s sister Ann’s house, where her husband Pete and daughter Olivia (to whom Namine sometimes refers as “cousin Olivia” but more often “my friend Olivia”) awaited our arrival. We were all going to dye some eggs. I don’t think Namine would ever tire of it.
After we finished the eggs (Pete and I only broke a couple), Namine and Olivia were free to play as they pleased. They did some puzzles together, and just generally chased each other around the house. I brought Namine’s gait trainer in from the car (it lives in the trunk when it’s not cold out) so she could show Pete and Olivia how well she walks.
At one point, Namine asked Olivia if she wanted to play hide and seek. Olivia counted first; she counted to three and found Namine right away. Then it was Namine’s turn; she counted to 30 as Olivia ran down the hall to hide. When she was done counting, Namine started scooting toward the hallway. Then she saw some toys in the living room, so she went over and started playing with those.
“Namine,” I said, “weren’t you supposed to go find Olivia?”
She looked up. “Oh yeah!” She put the toys down and scooted off to find her cousin.
Getting her ears pierced
Jessica and I decided years ago that we would set no age requirement for Namine to be allowed to get her ears pierced. Instead, we said that it would depend on Namine herself — on her maturity, on her own understanding of what it means to get one’s ears pierced. Given her own distaste for needles, we expected it to be a while.
Obviously, we were wrong.
A few days ago — Thursday, I think — Namine told us that she wanted to get her ears pierced. Jessica and I talked about it and slept on it. We talked to Namine, who seems to have come to the conclusion on her own. The number of friends that Namine sees on a regular basis are few and far between, and most don’t have piercings anyway; so peer influence was not an issue.
So after going out to dinner with my family this evening, we all headed over to the mall, to Claire’s. When we arrived, a much younger girl was getting her ears pierced, held down by her mother and an employee much against her will*. Namine watched, worry etched in her face. I bent down. “It hurts about as much as getting a shot, and it happens much quicker,” I said.
Namine looked at me. “I’m not afraid, just a little worried. Will you hold my hand?”
When it was Namine’s turn, she let me put her up on the chair. She sat almost still, fidgeting a little but stopping once the employee (whom Namine called Ear Piercing Lady) asked her to sit perfectly still. She did one ear, then the other. Namine flinched a little more for the second ear — knowing precisely what was coming, this time around — but with not a whimper or tear to be found.
* With how much pain we’ve had to put Namine through, I could never have forced her to get her ears pierced against her will. She would have been too young to understand, and it would just be more misery until she did. I know a lot of parents have their little girls’ ears pierced early on, but I’ve always seen it as a privilege, to be permitted (much like a tattoo or hair coloring) when she was old enough to understand and want it herself — and not only that, but to be able to explain why it was wanted, beyond the typical excuse of “because all my friends are doing it.”