aside

Friends, I have braved The Piercing Pagoda, Claire’s, and Justice, with five tweens. If I never go back to those puberty-saturated mall stores, I could live a happy life. I made eye contact with some of the other mothers wandering through the neon, swimsuit racks, and huge-eyed stuffed animal shelves, seeking commiseration or at least to identify whether I was the only one hating every minute of the rampant child-directed consumerism.

So why were we spending such a beautiful afternoon at the Christiana Mall?

I now have a ten year old daughter.

For her birthday, she wanted a couple close friends and her sister to go to the mall with her so that she could get her ears pierced with an entourage.

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It didn’t start too auspiciously, as the first three pairs of earrings Evelyn selected were out of stock. Finally, though, a pair she liked, 10K gold and faux green stone, were available.

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Without the slightest hesitation, Evelyn climbed up in the chair.

When she walked back out, she was beaming.

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Seeing Evelyn so happy with her friends almost redeemed the mall.

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Back at our house, James grilled burgers and hot dogs, and for dessert, Evelyn requested ice cream cones instead of cake.

I just can’t believe she’s ten.

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