When should girls get their ears pierced?

I got my ears pierced at the ripe-old age of 12. It, or the piercing, happened on my birthday and was a big deal. My mom told me about the big plan the night before, so I remember waking up that morning and feeling like I was crossing into something BIG. Womanhood? Hmm. Yeah, maybe that was it. Or, maybe it was the next step from womanhood, or young womanhood. I don’t know. I just knew that getting my ears pierced at 12 was not to be taken lightly.

I remembered my “piercing” day, years later, when a woman at Target asked me if I had plans to get my, then, seven week old daughter’s ears pierced.

“Umm, I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. And, really, I hadn’t thought about ear piercings along with the hundreds of other things on my brain as a new mom.

“Oh, well, I got my daughter’s ears pierced at four weeks old,” she said. I had to because everyone thought she was a boy.” She laughed then and continued to say that I didn’t need to worry about earrings for my girl because she was “pretty.”

I think I said “Uh. OK.”

I didn’t get my daughters ears pierced then and, now at two, she doesn’t have her ears pierced. Neither does her younger sister, who is six months.

My decision to not get their ears pierced is somehow strange to most. Since the woman I first met in Target, I’ve been asked over and over and over again about ear piercings for my girls.

Ear piercings, I guess, are not a big deal. And they are, in the bigger picture of it all, not a big deal. They are what many think little girls should do to embark upon girlhood properly. But, I don’t know, to me, ear piercings are kind of a big deal. At this point in their lives, I have other things on my brain, or managing mealtime messes and potty training.  Oh, and I really don’t want to have to care for their piercings on top of everything else that comes with the territory of motherhood. I’m not ready yet and neither are they. I get “this,” now it’s just getting everyone else to get “this.”

 What do you think about girls and ear piercings? When is the right age to get a first piercing? Or, is there a right age?