I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my daughter's ears and their lack of piercings. She's not yet 2 years old and, honestly, I didn't think I'd consider piercing her ears until she was at least 10, like when I got mine done. Then I married a half-black man and adopted a baby of Hispanic and African descent and, as a result, have a whole slew of reasons I'm conflicted about piercing my daughter's ears.
My husband and I had always said we would pierce our daughter's ears as a baby, to honor his father's cultural tradition. Theoretically ear piercing theoretical children, of course, is a much easier decision than really piercing real children. Since we adopted our daughter, whose birth cultures would likely have pierced her ears by the time she was 3 months old, those theoretical conversations and thoughts have become much more real.
My partner and I have gone back and forth about piercing her ears and, honestly, we're still conflicted about what is the right choice for her and for our family. What used to seem like such a no-brainer now has me totally conflicted and, well, I'm a little lost.. All my partner and I know, for sure, is that we won't do a thing to our daughter's ears until we're absolutely certain. So until then, I'll stay conflicted for the these reasons:
Because I Want To Honor Her Culture
My partner and I do want to honor our daughter's birth cultures, which would typically pierce a child's ears as an infant. We also planned to honor my husband's father's culture in the same way and with any daughters we might have. His sister had her ears pierced at when she was 3 months old, and we always thought it was something we'd do to honor that side of his family and carry on the tradition.
Because I Wasn't Allowed To At The Beginning
When our daughter first joined our family, she was technically a foster baby until the adoption was finalized six months later. During the time she was a foster child, we weren't technically allowed to pierce her ears since we weren't legally her parents yet. Most likely, no one would have said anything, but we weren't going to do a single thing that could jeopardize her adoption being finalized.
Because She Would Definitely Pull Them Out
By the time we could pierce her ears, we realized why people pierce them so early. At 6 months old, she definitely would have pulled those suckers right out, or at least fussed at them enough to hinder the healing process.
Because She Probably Wants To Make The Decision Herself
When my partner and I started to question our decision to pierce our daughter's ears, we opened up a door to all sorts of concerns. What if she would rather make the decision herself, just like I did when I was 10?
Because She Might Hate Them
Then I thought about the fact that she might never want to have her ears pierced, which was actually such a weird thought. I've never wanted to not have pierced ears, so the idea that she'd never want to have them pierced was a little jarring.
Because It's Never Bothered Me To Have Earrings
I can't think of a single time where I felt negatively about having pierced ears, which makes me feel like she'd probably be fine if she did have pierced ears.
Because I've Grown Attached To Her Non-Pierced Ears
Now that she's almost 2, I have grown pretty attached to those little undefiled ear lobes. I like them just the way they are. In fact, I get a little panicked when I think about changing anything about my daughter, even something so small.
Because I've Been Shamed For Not Piercing Her Ears
The downside of having a mixed race baby when you're obviously white is that sometimes people feel the need to tell me how to raise her. I've endured comments from women who look more like my daughter, telling me she would look "cuter" if I pierced her ears. My instant inner reaction is always say something like, "Well, we wanted to from the start! But then everything got a little mushy." It's hard to explain the reasons why I'm conflicted to a stranger in the produce section at the grocery store.