My fingers found their way to the earrings in my earlobes and began the subconscious ritual of twisting them around and around while we waited.
I’ve been twisting my earrings in moments of stress since I was in the 3rd grade, standing next to mean old Mrs. Boyd’s desk reciting my multiplication tables. I would sway back and forth, sweating in my sneakers, twisting away on those earring studs while I stammered out three times one is three, three times two is six, three times three is three …
And so there I was three months ago, sweating in a hospital bed in the OR prep room, having found out only hours earlier that our twin baby boys were to be born that day, and naturally, I resorted to that familiar comfort of twisting my earrings.
I was just a few twists of the diamond studs in when I felt a small burst of panic. Ugh, I groaned. I was supposed to leave these at home. I can’t go into surgery with them in my ears.
It’s no surprise at all that I forgot to take them out. With very few exceptions, those diamond studs are in my earlobes around the clock. I’m not a fancy jewelry person. In fact, those earrings and my wedding ring are the only pieces of jewelry I own that have any worth to them at all. I don’t wear those earrings to be fancy. I wear them because in a very tangible way, they remind me of who I am.