My daughter, Princess, got her navel pierced about a month ago. It’s taken this long to analyze my feelings about it. Was I surprised? Yes and no. She has been rambling about wanting to get one for some time.
Princess: “Mon, I think I want to get my navel pierced.”
P: “I like them.”
M: (again) “Why?”
P: “I just do.”
Some variation of this conservation continued at random intervals for months. And then she turned 18. That means she didn’t need my permission to have it done. Then she came home with one.
My reaction was mixed. I believe in giving my girls the confidence to make decisions about their own bodies once they reach a certain age. They have to make decisions for themselves. It can be as simple as considering a new hair cut or the complex decision of whether or not to have sex. I tell them the decision is theirs. It is not left up to peer pressure or to win the affection of some boy. I want them to be comfortable in their own skins and learn to trust themselves.
I didn’t make a big deal about the piercing. I told Princess I didn’t like it but it was her body. I advised her to make sure to keep it clean.
The world kept spinning. But I can’t help but notice that my baby is growing up and inching closed to adulthood. She is becoming more and more independent. I am at times proud and terrified.
The other day Princess started a random conversation.
Princess: “Mom, would you be mad if I got a tattoo?”
Me: (deep breath)
Somebody pass me the antacid.