I was 12 and a half on the day I got my ears pierced at the Wenatchee Valley Mall. Six months ahead of promised. And a complete surprise. A surprise mostly because my parents didn’t do things like walk into a jeweler’s to pierce ears ahead of schedule. And, because my mom, especially, wasn’t a spontaneous spender. But there I was, not even thirteen, with my ears pierced.
Last Saturday, at the old Supermall in Auburn, which is now not the Supermall but the new Outlet Collection, Troy and I and the kids roamed from store to store. We hadn’t come for ear piercing. We hadn’t even planned to come to the mall except that we were near it. Which was as good as having plans.
And then because the store that used to be Claire’s was piercing someone’s ears at the moment we were walking by and because Raven who was six days from her 13th birthday asked nonchalantly when she could get her ears pierced, we found ourselves inside the store that is not Claire’s looking at earrings that did more than clip on the back of the ear.
More specifically, we found ourselves here…
Or rather, six feet from here, tottering from foot to foot…
Breathing sparingly until this face…
Turned to this face.
Then behind us we saw this guy. Who lowered his head and asked in private whispers if he could buy these hoops for his sister. He patted his wallet. “I know she’d really like them,” he said.
And that’s the thing–she will. She’ll love them.
But mostly she’ll love the brother whose heart wanted her to have them.
And–she’ll remember being at the old Supermall, turning almost thirteen.