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.


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.


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

When she walked back out, she was beaming.


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


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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