A couple of years ago my good friend, M, called me with panic in her voice.
"Daughter Number 1 wants to have her cartilage pierced! What should I do?"
After I stopped laughing, I explained to her that if she was looking for someone to give her ammunition against her daughter's cartilage piercing, she was probably asking the wrong person. (I actually think cartilage piercing is kind of cute.)
But I did my best to try to help her think it through.
"Look, M," I said. "Is this a moral issue?"
"Is it a sinful thing to do?"
"Is your daughter doing this out of rebellion?"
Obviously not, since she had asked her mother's permission.
"Does she realize the consequences of her piercing? I mean, she'll have a huge hole in the top of her ear for the rest of her life. Is she O.K. with that?"
"Well, then, in my opinion, I think you should let her do it. . . . With the understanding that there will be NO MORE PIERCINGS. Of any kind. Ever."
It's all about setting boundaries with those teenagers, right?
I don't think that was the answer my friend was looking for, but she must have taken my advice to heart because a couple of days later she was driving her daughter to Claire's to have her cartilage pierced.
Well, today my parenting advice came back to haunt me as my two teenagers begged me to let them do something I never thought they'd want to do. . . .