Madigan asked me to get her ears pierced.

So I immediately launched in to this sermon about how pierced ears are a HUGE responsibility. She'll have to take care of them. For weeks and weeks. A lifetime, really. And under no circumstances will she wear anything dangly until she is over 18. Posts. Super lame boring posts. That's it. And she will have to earn the privilege. She'll have to step it up around the house. With chores and piano practice and pet care and, while we're at it, I would like to see a sunny disposition every second of every day.

And then it struck me. She is responsible. She is a dedicated school and piano student. She is a diligent worker and keeps her room organized and helps around the house with dishes and laundry and with the pet care. She has just started "mother's helping" with our neighbor and her 8 month old twins. They cried a lot the first time she went, but she liked feeding the babies and is looking forward to going back next week. She is a good kid.

So on paper it all looks good. And I'm going to say yes. But actually, those things I've just listed aren't the reasons I want to say yes.

The reason I really want to give this to her is because she doesn't ask for much. She shared a room with her brother until last year. She has lived on hand-me-downs without complaints for most of her life. When she gets nice things (like an Mp3 player or a karaoke machine) she takes care of them. She doesn't lose or damage them. She not the kind of kid to beg and whine and complain. So when she asks me for something she has thought about it. She knows that I could say yes or I could say no and she will have to live with either answer. And this thing, this ear piercing thing, was so important to her that she decided to ask.

And so I will say yes. And we'll go together for this rite of passage. This step toward independence. This step toward womanhood. And I just might cry.

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