Since we partied down this past weekend with our South Carolina family, Caroline's actual birthday yesterday was much more quiet and low key.
We didn't anticipate it would turn out to be such a milestone day.
Even if it was just leftover birthday cake, we still had to sing "Happy Birthday!"
Our dear RUF student, Mary, has volunteered to come over on Monday afternoons to help our family with babysitting, cleaning, preparing dinner, you name it. This was a huge answer to prayer for me a month ago when I was close to losing it. It's amazing how much my outlook is helped now knowing those four hours are coming each week. Seriously.
Jameson slept blissfully through the dinner and leftover birthday cake.
After we dropped Mary off at her dorm on Liberty's campus, our family ran over to the mall looking for shoes for Marc. As we walked past the Claire's store, I just happened to say, "Caroline, would you like to get your ears pierced?"
**Push pause there.***
You see, many times last year I would ask Caroline about piercing her ears. I might even say my asking verged on pressuring her at times, which may have been why I was always met with interest, but ultimately resistance. At one point, we even got as close to going into the store to get them pierced, but she backed out.
I don't know why I wanted this for her so much last year. I guess since my daughter doesn't have hair, I felt like it would be something to help restore a sense of femininity about her. Alopecia for a little girl has robbed us of some of that. With no hair to fix or fuss over, I thought earrings might be something fun and feminine for her to enjoy. And in the event that she someday doesn't want to wear only dresses and skirts like she does now, they would serve as something to distinguish her as a girl.
I'm actually one of the few women you'll ever meet who don't have my ears pierced. (REALLY? I can hear all of you ladies thinking.) I don't know why. I just don't. Maybe it's my neurotic fear of the piercing. Yes, I'm that ridiculous, thank you very much. But I think it just has more to do with my need for simplicity in my life. I've never been one that wants to add on more to fuss over. I'm weird, I know. Just accept me as I am.
So after Caroline decided she didn't want to have them pierced last year, I dropped the subject. Who cares? I thought. Her beauty doesn't rest upon something like earrings just like it doesn't rest upon her having hair, either.
So I didn't broach the topic again until last night.
"Caroline, would you like to get your ears pierced?"
"Yes!" she answered, much to my surprise. I had to ask again, just to make sure I was hearing right! She was absolutely sure.
(Of COURSE she'd decide to do it at a time like that, when I was carrying no camera with me, and when she was wearing the mismatched clothing Daddy had dressed her in after a swim lesson.) :)
So she bravely sat herself in the seat, eagerly anticipating and mostly unaware of what was coming. "3, 2, 1.." the lady counted, and then I saw my baby girl wince in pain. She looked up at me with big tears forming in the brims of her eyes. Oh goodness, I thought, I hate this! And she's still got another ear to go!
Fortunately, she got through the other ear, but I could tell she wasn't so sure about what she had just done.
And honestly, the spontaneousness of the whole situation had me wondering the same thing.
Nevertheless, it was done.
And just a few minutes later after the pain wore down, she was thrilled with the results. (you can guess what she's telling everyone about at school all day today)
It was surprisingly emotional for both Marc and me.
Kindof felt like a rite of passage or something.
But we thought it ended up being fitting to do it on a milestone day like her 5th birthday.
And now we're getting used to them on her.
The day ended like all others with reading and snuggling before bed. (Jameson was chewing on his knuckles... teething, maybe??) It was weird for me to see those little ears a' twinkling!
It's been the best 5 years of our lives. Here's to many, many more.
Happy birthday, my sweet Caroline.