April 1, 2014

Parent of the year

I feel the award slipping away...

Subtitle: Why are March sunburns so much worse than summertime ones?

Bang has a beautiful complexion.  Kind of a waste on a boy, as no woman is likely to appreciate it the way she should.  His skin tone (with a little sun) is a lovely honey-brown color.  And, he normally turns brown pretty quick when overexposed to the sun.

Saturday morning was cold, windy and cloudy.  It was only supposed to reach 75.  We forgot to take sunscreen to the track meet. The clouds cleared, the temperature soared.  We fried.

My face and arms are a little toasty.  My forehead and nose are flaming red, even now, three days later.  Bang is a lobster.  

I tried to be somewhat responsible, realizing my error, sending The Princess under the bleachers in the shade for most of the afternoon.  I am not sure how that parental concern and forcefulness didn't transfer to Number One Son.

Instead, his grandmother and I sat in the stands making comments about how pasty white all the kids were in their skimpy track outfits.  We commented on the beached-whale whiteness of Bang's thighs as he relaxed between races, sprawled out on the infield grass.  Why didn't it occur to me to call him over and make him go in the shade?  Why didn't I get in my car and go buy some sunscreen?

Thanks to the media, I will now have nightmares about the future skin cancer I have caused my son.  I do realize that it is a real danger, and we normally take reasonable precautions.  And yet, I don't believe I have seen any statistics that show a marked difference in the number of skin cancer cases over the past several decades, enough to warrant the dermatologist and sunscreen industry-fueled frenzy of keeping every man, woman, and child looking like vampires.  I don't put sunscreen on my children every morning before they walk out the door.   I don't hover over them with an umbrella as they play outside. We used to slather oil over our bodies and bake in the sun for hours and we turned out moderately well. (And yes, we know better now).

I know I didn't earn a parent of the year award, but I swear if another crunchy granola, gluten-free vegan mom looks at my sunburned kid and then tsks me, I'm gonna punch that pasty scowl of judgment off of her face.

1 comment:

Mel said...

The first sunburn of the year means winter is on the way out and summer is not far behind.
I look forward to it every year.
I usually turn a little red instead of burning thanks to a little Indian heritage.