Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why I'm Making a Rite of Passage Ceremony Today

Today, we celebrate my daughter by a rite of passage ceremony that we've been thinking about for a long time. 

We are getting her ears pierced. 

As I think about rites of passage, I realize that precious few exist in our culture to celebrate girlhood--not adolescence or graduation or marriage--but just being a young girl.  I wanted the ear piercing to have ceremonial, symbolic importance that she might remember for her whole life.

We will have friends and family there to witness the event.  

I wrote a letter to my daughter for her to read about what her ear piercing symbolizes.  I wrote that whenever she sees her earrings, she will remember God's love for her, her family's love for her, and her realization of her own worth--far more precious than any jewel.   We are making a rite of passage to initiate her into the next stage of her growth.  These next few years will mean so much in terms of identity formation, and I realize the role that ritual, symbol, and community will play in that secure sense of self.

I turn 35 years old this week.  I wanted my daughter's ear piercing to coincide with my own rite of passage.  She has five years until high school, and I have 5 years until I turn 40.  What will we make, together, of these next years?  When I look at my daughter's earrings, it will symbolize my own journey as a woman and a wife and a mother. 

And I need friends and family to witness this.  

Symbols and rituals help build a meaningful life.  We can pass them on, weave together a beautiful history, and mark our lives by them.  When I look at my daughter's earrings, I will remember what they mean. 


Charity said...

I so very much wish that I could be there with you and your girl to be one of the witnesses! I pray that the meaning you've given this event will be very real for her, even piercing into her heart so that she WILL always remember.

LivewithFlair said...

Me too, Charity! I love that you said it might even pierce into her heart. I love that!

Sallie Kate said...

What a special idea...and very wise. This reminds me of speaker/writer/mama Dannah Gresh (look her up!) sharing about making a special celebration out of the day when her daughters started their period, explaining what it meant and celebrating the way the Lord made them to create life. I hope to mother with purpose like this when I have babies.
Blessings. (I saw your comment on Pioneer Woman...)
Sallie Kate

Anonymous said...

This was so good--I just found your blog, searching about when to allow my daughter to get her ears pierced..what age was yours when you did this?

LivewithFlair said...

She was 8 years old!