Thursday, June 02, 2005
Introducing Lady N.
As I did with my oldest niece, Jordan, last week I wrapped my three-month old niece in a pink blanket with lavender stitching, packed her in the car and drove to the nearest mall to get her ears pierced. It's become a tradition of sorts and I treasure it. This is more than likely my last shot at this particular bonding experience. As the mother of two boys, I vow never to be the one that carts them off to the mall to get a lobe pierced. But that's another blog entirely.
Jordan is now 9 (soon to be 10) and with the passing of time I had forgotten how emotionally wrenching this "tradition" could actually be, for me and the baby. Probably the reason my sister handed it off to me in the first place. Well, it all came rushing back when I saw Natalia's sweet little face twist and turn a ghastly reddish purple when the piercing gun popped first the right lobe then the left. And I started thinking, WHO IN THE WORLD started this ritual of poking holes in babies? They must have had a really good reason and I was determined to find out what it was. So when I got home, I did some research.
During my google search, several explanations popped up. One article explained that ears were probably first pierced for magical purposes and because of the ease with which it can be pierced. Many primitive tribes believe that demons can enter the body through the ear, because demons and spirits are supposed to be repelled by metal, ear-piercing prevents them entering the body. Another surmised that children born into ancient sailing families used to have an ear pierced to improve eyesight, and if the bodies washed up somewhere it would pay for a Christian burial. I also learned that in many societies ear piercing is done as a puberty ritual. That in Borneo the Mother and Father each pierce one ear as a symbol of the child's dependence on their parents. BUT my favorite: in Roman society ear piercing symbolized wealth and prosperity. The more elaborate the piercing and the younger the baby: the richer the family.
A little Tylenol helped both of us with the pain and now when I see her little sparkly ears, I can't help but smile and send up prayers for Lady N. But not in a material sense. I wish her -- and every other baby wrapped in pink embroidered blankets -- a life full of health and happiness, one rich in love and prosperous in true friendship, an existence entrenched in wealth of character and self-awareness. In short, I want for them every good thing. Growing up a girl ain't no easy thing. Just remember your Auntie Na-Na loves you.
PS. Can't help but add that I was not responsible for this picture. My older sister, Lady N's proud mama, snapped it. If you look REALLY close, you may be able to see the earring. Thanks, Sis!
Posted by Unknown at 6:59 AM