Mighty Mouse sat in the tall, armed stool with a poise not normally attributable to a five-year-old.
"Stand right there, Mommy."
I stepped forward into position. She grabbed both my hands and together we waited while the teenage salesperson and the store manager loaded their weapons. The toes of Mouse's black Mary Jane Crocs grazed the hem of my skirt. We could still make a break for it, but I knew she wouldn't let me.
I always said the girls could pierce their ears when they were ready. After all, my ears were pierced, twice even, and for a brief period of time I'd even sported a belly button ring. But it had never occurred to me the feelings I was going experience once the decision was made. Was I insane? How could I let perfect strangers punch holes into my precious child?
The younger salesperson had drawn two small purple dots on her perfect little lobes. After careful inspection, Emma had her move the one on the left a little closer to Mouse's head. She'd settled on a pair of cubic zirconium studs so she could look like me and for a brief moment I wished I'd never worn earrings.
The jewelry shop ladies moved into position. They would work in synchrony. They counted out loud, "One, two, " and it was done.
Mighty Mouse looked up at me smiling with the faintest hint of tears in her eyes. She looked beautiful. I told her so.