Sunday, July 22, 2012

A few rites of passage

The past two weekends brought very different rites of passage for our kids.  First, Anya Rashi is pleased to say that she now has pierced ears!  I didn't originally think we would have them done at age five (I had to wait until I was 12!), but we went ahead for two reasons.

First, we needed a serious reward for stopping thumbsucking.  Like many of her cribmates in Kolkata, Anya Rashi has been a thumbsucker from infancy on.  Some of our earliest photos of her show a sweet little face with a thumb popped in it -- in fact, she sometimes developed a callous from so much use!

With kindergarten approaching, we decided to work on quitting, which was relatively easy to do if her "fuzzy" (her pink blankie) stayed on her bed all day instead of traveling around the house.  We agreed that she could have her ears pierced if she could make it 30 days with no daytime thumbsucking at all.  Carefully, she wrote down every successful day on a chart on the refrigerator . . . and before we knew it, she had made it 30 days!

Our second reason for piercing before kindergarten was about blending with some of the Indian families at our school.  Another adoptive mother brought the cultural aspect of ear piercing to my attention.  My friend has a Hispanic daughter, and it's a norm within her daughter's culture to pierce girls' ears as infants.  In India, many families do the same thing.  Because we have quite a few Indian families at our school, we thought it might be a good idea to have her ears pierced before school starts in September.

At her kindergarten orientation, I discovered that there will be at least three Indian girls in her grade, so we decided to go ahead.  There certainly are girls in India who don't have their ears pierced as babies -- but we chose to "blend" in this regard as a way to have there be one less difference between Anya Rashi and other girls who share her heritage.  There are many ways our family will be different than her classmates' families, so we decided to take this one small difference out of the equation.

She was SO excited on the big day, and was giddy as she chose her earrings. The excitement continued as the ladies washed her ears and marked them with a dot.  Then when they approached her to get the job done, she started to whimper and panic.  After a few conversations, browsing for future earring purchases, and watching a younger girl have her ears pierced without any outward sign of pain (wow!), Anya Rashi was ready.

This time, she sat on my lap to bolster her courage.  We had told her that it would feel like her earlobes were being pinched, but didn't think to tell her that it would sound loud -- that seemed to surprise her.  Almost before she knew it, it was over, with just a few tears that were quickly replaced by a huge grin.  She is very proud of herself, and is happy to show anyone we meet her new blue earrings.

* * * * * * * *

Our other rite of passage wasn't quite so much fun.  Yesterday we discovered that our car had a flat tire, so Peter decided it was a good time to show the kids how to change a tire.  Thankfully, it happened while the car was parked in our driveway!  We'll see how much Nathan and Aaron remember in 5-6 years when they're ready to drive.  I'm sure those years will pass all too quickly!


Andrew & Cairenn said...

Yay for Anya Rashi! she looks very grown up with her new earrings.

Sorry about the flat tire, but good for you two - turning it into an opportunity for the kids to learn.

Sarah said...

Sounds like she did great with the ear cute!

My friend who is the director of an orphanage in India told me that she has never seen a little girl in India without earings, unless she is an orphan. So, they pierce all the girl's ears at the Children's Home.

Peter and Nancy said...

I love that sign of care, Sarah! When we were in India, a stranger told me Anya Rashi's "arms were empty" -- i.e. that she needed some bangles, another thing that families of any means at all provide.

Rose said...

She is too cute. The way you described the ear-piercing process brought it all back to me. Such a big deal for a little girl, and so smart of you to realize that.

Julie & Patrick said...

Believe me, I know what a huge accomplishment it was to give up the thumb! Dev still struggles with giving up the thumb and biting those darned fingernails. Thanks for the success story AND congrats to Anya Rashi!!

I love that the boys are learning and preparing for manhood as well!


No Greater Love said...

Oh, my Elijah was a thumb sucker too...and I remember that callous so well. :) He had one until he stopped sucking his thumb...I was surprised it went away, actually. And now I miss it.

And how neat that Anya Rashi had her ears pierced! What an accomplishment!!!

Miche said...

Do you now of places online to order things like bangles, the sarees and the lovely head decorations for our girl? I went to one store near me, but they didn't have anything for children, and the gentlemen there were super nice, but I don't think they understood what I was trying to find and when I asked about a children's store they told me about the I had those poor guys all confused! But, at least I have a place to buy some cooking items and try some recipes at home! :) We will see how my first try goes....:)

Joy in the Journey! said...

we STILL have a thumb sucker :(.

She looks beautiful with her earings!

Joy in the Journey! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.