Friday, June 10, 2011

The Perils of Sunshine

My husband and I are indoor types of people. We like activities such as reading, playing video games, typing blogs...sedentary activities. Consequently we both have achieved somewhat round shapes. Activities such as mowing the lawn or pulling up weeds or washing the car are completed with great prejudice and then we need a nap.
I don't want my son to be as potato-shaped as his parents. He is an active boy, born to move. I try to get him outside as much as possible, out into the sunshine with its healthy Vitamin D benefits.

Unfortunately, this is summer. Not only is the temperature outside 400,000 degrees by 11am, it stays that way until about 8pm. The beautiful sun, which is supposed to shine gently down upon the earth and encourage things to grow, has turned into a flamethrower that is slowly killing our lawn and replacing it with weeds. (why the heck do the weeds seem to do better under adverse conditions? And why can't we get grass to do that?)

I read an article this week on CNN about how sun exposure at an early age, such as infants, can lead to skin cancer later. This article freaked me out.

When I was a child, we never wore sunscreen. It just wasn't something that anyone thought about. We were outside in the sun all day. Even in college, there we all were, slathering ourselves with baby oil and trying to cook our skin to a nice golden brown. I stopped doing that right around the time I decided that I liked my pasty white skin just fine(plus, laying around tanning is freakin' boring). But I still haven't been consistent in wearing sunscreen, because I don't think about it. I've had several moles removed over the years, one of which was precancerous. One would think that I would take more precautions. Yet I still forget the stupid sunscreen.

I was outside with Zane last week, in the late afternoon sun(the temperature had dropped to 300,000 degrees), and I realized that I had neglected to put sunscreen on him when I noticed that his cheeks were reddening out there. I was horrified. It's bad enough to forget to put sunscreen on myself, but my child shouldn't have to bear the results of my inattention at some point in his future. Once I read that article, I felt even worse.

I will have to do a better job of remembering sunscreen. I will have to put Post-it notes all over, or put a note on my phone, or tattoo it on my hand. Whatever it takes.

For my sake as well as Zane's.


  1. I have been walking a little after six in the morning...just neighborhood, but 30 minutes far it is cool (by our standards) and usually cloudy. I always see the over 40 crowd that time of day! You might try it...I think you would enjoy it!! Have a wonderful Friday!

  2. I do the same thing and forget the sunscreen, sigh. I remember too when we would go outside and swim in baby oil and sun on those silver reflective blankets and crisp up....

  3. I did similar stuff when I was younger but you are right, laying around tanning is not only dangerous, is boring.

    A bit of reddening isn't much compared to some of the burns we had as children. *cringe* But I understand. Would feel the same way.

  4. I remember a full day of guilt when my son's earlobes got sunburnt on a sunny afternoon in May (we don't usually have to worry so much so soon in Central New York). Didn't my mother and aunt use to use baby oil as "sunscreen/accelerator"? Yikes! It wasn't summer unless you peeled at least once. Now they just laugh at my typically pasty white skin...oh well!

    Just hopped over here myself...looking forward to following, and reading "back" posts!



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