Memorializing my baby at Claire’s

I got my ears pierced for the first time in my life.

When I was 10-12 I thought I would die if I didn’t get my ears pierced. My mom said if I made it to 16, I could do it then. When I turned 16, I didn’t care anymore.

Then I got pregnant again. I started daydreaming about what I wanted for a push present. For BB I designed 2 interlocking rings with her birthstone that I wear on my right hand. I toyed with the idea of getting my ears pierced for the next kid.

For whatever reason I still felt reluctant. Really why bother now? And I didn’t ask our midwife, but I figured if I’m not supposed to eat lunch meat, a body piercing can’t possibly be recommended.

Then we said goodbye to Angel Baby. A week later Captain had to work on a Saturday and BB and I were hanging out at home. I turned to her and said,

“Let’s go to Claire’s.”

She’s never been there, but she agreed.

To be a 36-year-old customer at Claire’s is a very odd feeling. I strapped BB into her stroller. A toddler loose in Claire’s is enough to raise my heart rate just thinking about it.

I sit in the piercing chair with BB in the stroller beside me. I tell the Claire’s employee,

“This is my first time getting my ears pierced.”

A mom and her 6-year-old daughter overhear me and stop to stare. The mom points at BB,

“Is it the first time for her or for you?”

“For me.”

“Really? The first time for YOU? Not for her?” And she points at BB again.

Yes, I’m very sure I’m the one getting my ears pierced and not my daughter, although if she makes it to 10 or 12 years old that’s another story.

I ask the young woman piercing my ears,

“In your experience, what’s the oldest person who’s gotten their ears pierced for the first time?”


So there you have it, I’m still doing it on the young side.

I notice the woman’s name badge. It’s the same name we gave our Angel Baby. I hadn’t planned on telling anyone at Claire’s anything, but now of course I unload on this poor young woman. She is very kind.

And there I am, in Claire’s, surrounded by 6-year olds, sobbing and getting my ears pierced for the first time.

We named Angel Baby after a unicorn from one of my favorite childhood books, so now anything unicorn is kinda my thing.

I opted for gold stud earrings because I have to wait until my ears are healed to wear the earrings I really want. Captain, who forgot there’s a market for little kid jewelry, says,

“Good luck finding unicorn earrings.”

“Don’t worry, they’re a thing.” Mostly for people under 12, but for at least one 36-year-old and maybe an 85-year-old.

People do any number of things to memorialize their losses: services, gardens, crafts, you name it. I got unicorn earrings, in honor of Angel Baby.



BB may have gotten a unicorn purse. And a unicorn bracelet. But that’s really it. Because I’d already bought a unicorn mug from HomeGoods. And a tiny unicorn figurine to put next to the family photo by my bed

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