Do you remember the days before sunscreen? The first day of summer, we all put on our swimsuits and washed the car, ran in the sprinklers, or met at the local pool. We splashed and soaked each other for hours, somehow forgetting that this exact behavior had ended badly just 12 months before.
But in those days, no one had 4 different types and strengths of sunscreen at the ready. Instead, the bravest of us basted ourselves with baby oil for that golden brown look. Except golden brown always turned red a lot faster than we expected. And soon it became a tradition that the first day of summer would be spent getting the sunburn of a lifetime and the rest of the week meant chills, aloe, and a lot of time laying face down, crying in agony. It was a summer ritual in our house, one I'm sure my mother gritted her teeth through each and every year.
And because she cursed me so many times with a daughter just like me, I too get to experience the joy of the first week of summer. Because this year, this child neglected to inform me that she had her swimsuit on when she went to her friend's house, and she didn't get 4 types of sunblock applied to the stark white sections of her body. And she wore a swimsuit that has different lines that her normal standbys. Next year, on the first day of summer, remind me to coat all of them the second they get out of bed. . .