Pixie Girl is sixteen, confident, responsible, an easy child to parent. And so, I felt like a piano dropped on my head when she informed me that she wanted to get a stud in her perfect little nose.
I hate piercings. I only had my own ears pierced at 45—at Pixie Girl’s urging. Just thinking about the process of a needle penetrating unsuspecting flesh makes me cringe. In my opinion, the human body already has enough holes and they are all magnets for bacteria—earaches, sore throats, colds, bladder infections, hemorrhoids and—well, you get the picture. Why put an additional hole in an already adorable nose?
Every fibre in my being wanted to say NO to Pixie Girl. I wanted to exercise my clout as a mother and keep my daughter whole, not hole. But, Pixie Girl had clearly given her decision a lot more thought than her squeamish mom.
“I look like a twelve-year-old,” she said, matter-of-factly.
This is true. At sixteen, my beautiful girl is diminutive in height, fresh-faced and very young looking. One day, I am certain she will appreciate this “problem,” but in Grade Eleven, it is important to her to look her age, to have style and statement and not be handed a kiddie menu. She is exploring her identity in all sorts of safe ways for which I am grateful. Current research shows that not only are teenage brains the craziest, they are also the most creative. I am certain that had Mozart wanted a piercing when he was a teenager, he would have gotten one; if his parents had opposed him, the world might be a few symphonies short of a box set!
Pixie Girl’s arguments for getting a nose stud silenced mine against. I realized that I shouldn’t impose my personal preferences on her. At sixteen, it is perfectly legal for her to get a piercing without parental consent, but Pixie Girl really didn’t want to do it without my support and I realized how fortunate I am that she feels this way. If she later regretted her decision, she would take full responsibility—a great skill to practice. I am learning to save my ripostes for battles that matter, not battles of wills.
I admit I engaged in some anxious pacing while Pixie Girl was off getting her stud, but when she walked in the door, upright, smiling, a teeny gem sparkling from the side of her still cute nose, I knew that she had done the right thing for herself. After her dad, brother and sister complimented her new acquisition, Pixie Girl turned her shining face to me.
“Well,” I said. “It’s not as bad as I thought!”
It rarely is.