Treasured Moments (Even When They’re not Perfect)

Treasured Moments (Even When They’re not Perfect)

- in 2020 Editions, Magazine, March 2020, Parenting

While we try to teach our kids all about life, our kids teach us what life is all about. I’m not sure who first said that, but it’s so true. I’ve been living it first-hand with my daughters, but most recently my daughter taught me something really important.

I love making memories with my kids. I love sharing in their first experiences: first time riding a bike, losing a tooth, doing things on their own — and getting their ears pierced. My youngest daughter has been asking for a while about getting them pierced, and I thought, “Yya know, I think she’s ready — let’s have a mother-daughter day and make a day of it!”

I wanted to make great memory, like I did with my oldest daughter when she had hers done. We made it an all-out girls day. First, we went and got her a haircut. How perfect to have a new ‘do to show off your new pierced ears, right? 

After getting her haircut, we headed over to the mall to get her ears pierced. I can still picture her super nervous little face as she was sitting in the chair trying to calm her nerves. I held her hand and told her everything would be OK, that it’s no big deal. 

She opted for doing both ears at one time, and then — boom, it was done. Beautiful new earrings. 

Except… it wasn’t. There was a big mistake: the earrings were off-center. No joke, I couldn’t believe it. They were not even. Yes, they drew the dots. But somehow that didn’t matter; they were off. What?! 

I didn’t know what to say. My picture perfect day — her special milestone — was now tainted. I’ll leave out the details about what happened next, but thankfully, we were smart enough to leave and not let them pierce her ears again right away. We left, went to lunch (because I had promised a mother-daughter lunch) and tried to not think about it. 

My daughter was good at letting it go, but I couldn’t shake it. Could we get away with uneven earrings?! These will be for life. What do I do? I was pretty worked up about it. 

Ultimately, I spoke with someone later that day who encouraged us to take the new earrings out, let the holes grow over, and then we could get them done again in a few weeks. It was so sad, after getting them done, having to take them out. 

My daughter took it so well, though. You’ve maybe heard the phrase, “Out of the mouth of babes”? Well, later that night, after we had taken them out, I was getting frustrated while making dinner. I said something like, “Wow, today just isn’t my day.”

My daughter looked up at me and said, “Mom, it’s been a great day. We had a nice lunch together, got my hair done, spent time together — it was great.”

Not one mention of having to take out her brand new earrings or needing to go through the pain again. Nothing. Wow, I thought, even though this wasn’t the perfect experience I wanted it to be, it’s still a treasured day.

Every day, every experience, isn’t going to be perfect. Sometimes they’ll be downright terrible. But they’re experiences we’re blessed to have. I’m so glad my daughter reminded me of this. And now we tease her that she has a great story to share that we can laugh about in the future. (And yes, we plan to get her ears re-pierced in the near future.)

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