Her first word was “button” (referring to those little things on a computer, not what helps you fasten a coat).
Her first steps were at Parc Georges Bressens right outside our flat in Paris.
Our daughter has been asking (otherwise known as clamoring, begging and cajoling) for the past year – ever since her friend Cassandra got her own ears pierced.
Since we’ve been living in Tuscany for the past two and a half years now, I really don’t know what all the little girls in the United States are up to. But here in Italy, while It’s not quite the tradition to get their ears pierced in infancy like some countries, it’s no big deal for very young girls to be sporting small post earrings in their little lobes. Probably, it’s great training for the long swinging chandelier earrings many of these girls will wear when they grow up to be fashion-conscious Italian belle donne!
And so, finally, as a present for Lulu’s sixth birthday – which was officially yesterday – we walked down the Corso Italia to a nearby Gioielli (jewelry) shop for the momentous occasion.
I had already inquired about the process with the charming older couple who run the shop. They assured me everything was sterile and “pharmaceutical.” “Meno male (thank goodness),” I thought.
The wife drew little dots on Lulu’s soft pink ears and her husband prepared the dart gun. (What do you call it exactly?)
THOOP! The first teeny brilliant sparkly flower-shaped earring was in! Lulu shuddered and her eyes opened wide.
“Did that hurt?” I asked.
“Un poco (a little),” Lulu stiffly replied.
What our kind shopkeepers hadn’t explained to us -and what I hadn’t imagined – is the time it takes to load up the next dart gun can also become a time for the child victim, er customer, to reflect upon the pain.
“Sometimes the little girls decide not to get the second one done,” the shop owner told me as he took the next earring shooter out of its plastic case.
“Uhm, Lulu,” I started, wondering how this would turn out, “are you okay to have the second one shot in?”
“Yes, of course!” Lulu looked at me as if I were crazy. This kid had been asking to have earrings for the past year and she wasn’t about to stop at just one.
“Meno male,” I thought.
And, then, with another quick THOOP! it was all over. Lulu had two little shiny flowers in her ears and we had experienced another first in her young life.
Happy birthday, Lulu.
Although I confess I have the cartilage of my left ear as well as my belly button pierced (shh!), but – with the all the tongues and noses and eyebrows out there, I am crossing my fingers that Lulu’s first piercing will be her last – at least for a few more years!
Tell me about a recent (or not so recent) milestone in your child’s life. Do you feel that mixture of joy and pang like I do during each of the steps along their way…?
Till next time,