Read more from Humphrey at My Life As Danielle
When my daughter was a baby, I did something to her.
Something that did not seem like a big deal to me at the time.
Something that happened to me when I was a baby, and I grew to like as I grew older.
Something that most women, at some point in their lives, have done in our country.
Something that made her look more girly (as this is never done to baby boys).
Something that I was told had little risk.
Something that would be easy to keep clean (maybe even as easy as if I'd left her as she was born).
Something that was completely unnecessary.
Something that was painful,
done at a time when she would not remember the pain.
Something that I thought was for her,
but as it turns out... something that was for me.
I had her ears pierced.
Not long, but it was obviously painful.
They were not tough to keep clean; but I did have to attend to them like I hadn't before.
Then we noticed that one of them wasn’t put in correctly.
We could see the back of the earring easily, so we took it out...
and had her RE-pierced.
Oh sweet baby girl, if I could take it back I would.
I’ve thought about taking them out.
(Thank goodness you can take them out yourself when you’re older.)
But you’ll always have a tiny scar from where I let them cut into your perfectly formed body.
Those were not my ears to pierce.
I am so, so sorry I did not protect you, and instead, hurt you for a cultural norm.
What was I thinking?
Rather -- why didn’t I think?
Why did I think less about altering your body than I did about selecting a baby carrier?
Why didn’t I listen to people who said it’s not necessary?
Why didn’t anyone shout - "Those are not your ears!"?
You were already perfect in His image and needed absolutely no modification.
You may actually someday resent that decision I made to alter your body...
Why wasn’t I brave enough to make a decision that was different from what happened to me?
The beautiful stones are not more brilliant than your tender, unmarred ears.
They stare at me everyday I’m with you as a glaring reminder of my first regret.
They catch the light.
They blind me.
And I realize I was never seeing clearly to begin with...
I'm being vulnerable in my mistake, so please show compassion.
I am so thankful that my decision has not led to worse, and that in the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively small.
I will be honest with you about all of this one day.
I will probably have you read this.
I have forgiven myself, and I will never do this to another child of mine.