by E.B. White
The middle child, Eve holds the magnetic center - the Higgs Boson particle of the family - imparting mass and gravitational attraction. She does it unwittingly, as if by naming her we let in some archetypal grain to her nature; she seems to have a deeper understanding of things, not as quick to come to a conclusion, measuring and sifting for the level beyond the appearance of things. Although what do I know about an eight year old girl's mind? Maybe I'm just romanticizing. What does anyone know? But there is an impetus now to protect our girls, a recognition that the forces out there are toxifying their childhoods beyond recognition.
She wanted her ears pierced, at the threshold of some kind of discovery about herself. She held a teddy bear at the Piercing Pagoda at the Concord Mall lent to her by the girl behind the counter just opening on a late Sunday morning. The girl was heavy set, blond, and she marked her ears and swabbed the earlobes with an antiseptic wipe, stepping back and asking me for my opinion. Did the markings look level. Don't want to get this wrong. I looked and squinted and nodded affirmatively. Eve looked serious, as if about to set off on a journey into herself, into her own destiny apart from her brother and sister and I. Then at the party she played on the trampoline with her friends Molly and Cody, swinging the styrofoam tubes at each other like swords.