It was a sunny day. Brutally hot, air still as a turtle in hibernation, instinct drawing us to the pool like lemmings swimming upstream. (Except for that whole dying at the end part.)
The kids hung out in the water until BrightSide and I joined them, changing into suits and slathering on our own sunscreen. An extremely energetic friend organized a family volleyball game and we stood chest deep in water trying to name countries in ABC order while keeping the ball aloft.
Alabama! No!! Albania! Brussels. Canada! Denmark! E? I’ve got E?! Oh! England!
The difference between math and language brains quickly became clear.
Soon it was time for my appointment. I gathered my things, reminding everyone to reapply sunscreen, and took my leave.
I was only gone two hours before returning to tag in for BS.
He left behind two children behaving a bit oddly but that’s not entirely, well, odd so I ordered lunch. About halfway through they said they wanted to return to the room – this was when the first alarms started going off. Something was amiss.
They were exhausted and overheated. Like partial sun plants that had been left in full sun for a week, except instead of just getting droopy they got mouthy and snappish instead. Fun times.
Once back inside I noted their pink cheeks and noses. My kids think they’re impervious to sun, so my admonishments to “reapply!” strike them more as gentle suggestions than critical warnings.
I’ve been seriously reconsidering my approach on this. Perhaps I need to try something a bit more attention grabbing. “Get too much sun and You Will Die. If you don’t use the proper amount of sunscreen, You Will Die. If you don’t reapply, you’ll suffer through a painful burn that will make you long for death. And then You Will Die.”
I commented on their pinkishness and asked about reapplying their sunscreen, then I didn’t think much more about it. Until Bear’s shriek from the bathroom, that is.
I hauled tail in there to find her in a towel, staring in shock at her first “real” sunburn. (That word real only deserves quotation marks because Bear lives with BrightSide, so a burn on her will never look quite as alarming.) She was mystified by the touchiness of her shoulders and the actual pain caused by clothing. It was a rather rude awakening, I must say.
Relatively speaking, T-man got off easy. With each passing minute his face got darker and the pink deepened to red, but at least his damage was limited to a smaller area.
And then there was BrightSide.
There’s something you should know about BS. No matter what his skin looks like – regardless of whatever degree of fire engine red you’re looking at – he will always, always say it’s “just a little pink.” Running a close second is “that’ll go in.”
I knew it was bad when I heard the kids gasp as BrightSide changed for dinner. Because the stark contrast between his oh-so-white back (bless his heart) and shockingly red shoulders was beyond their experience.
But what did he tell us? “Oh, it’s just a little pink. That’ll go in.”
a) I was only gone for two hours.
b) No, it didn’t go in.
c) For the love of all things holy, people…sunscreen.