You know the one I mean. That mom who looks like she shares a closet with her 12 year old daughter. The mom who is obviously trying to disguise the fact that she’s not 19 anymore. Yeah, I don’t want to be that mom. But I also don’t want to be that worn down, haggard mom who looks 20 years older than her actual age. I know my mom is reading this thinking I finally want to color my grey’s, but no, this is about my beloved nose ring.
I got marred at age 21 and had Evangeline at age 22…or was it married at 22 and baby at 23? I don’t know, but something like that. My birthday this September will officially put me on the back side of 25 with three kids and a mortgage to show for it–an adult by most standards. I have to rediscover my identity at the end of my pregnancies. So much of myself gets lost as my appearance changes and my wardrobe becomes solely about keeping me covered and safe for public viewing. It’s always a juggling act when I get to postpartum–what to keep what to toss, what’s still in fashion what isn’t, what looks good what’s too frumpy. Who do I want to look like? In this internal debate my nose ring inevitably comes up.
A month after high school graduation, June 15th actually (please don’t ask why I remember the date because I have no earthly idea), I got off of work from the UPS Store early. I was feeling particularly free, adventurous and in want of a change. I went and had my long hair chopped off but that only served to fuel my adrenaline rush. What was left but to throw caution to the wind and make the trip to Atomic Tattoo. By far, the coolest thing I’ve ever done. The boy I had a crush on at the time thought so too. In fact he still thought it was pretty cool when he proposed a year and a half later ;). For seven years now, with two short exceptions, I’ve had this nose ring. It’s become a part of my identity, what I’ve done, and what I look like.
When I got the piercing all those years ago at the ripe ole age of 18, I decided on some safeguards for myself. The first was that I had to spend an entire year thinking it was a good idea. The second safeguard was that I would take it out by the time I was 30 or had a child entering kindergarten which ever came first. I was ok doing something rash and obviously adolescent, as long as when the time came I would put away childish things and be an adult. Especially having a 5 year old. I didn’t want for my nose ring or any adolescent thing I may be holding onto to become an embarrassment for my child.
My mother has set a good example of what it is to look like a mom. She has conducted herself as a mother and never as anything embarrassing to my sister or I. She can cut up and joke around (although, her comebacks are usually a day or two late), she can be loose and fun, but never embarrassing. She can be fashionable and trendy but never in a way that was immodest or degrading to her as a grown woman. My mother is an appropriate dresser. I never have to cringe or worry about what my mom will show up looking like. I want to be the same for my children.
At the same time I am 25 and I don’t want to look like I’ve given up on youth. So I think the nose ring will stay for now. Although it will be a sad day when I finally say good by for good. Are there things you know you’ll one day have to outgrow but will be sad to see them go?