It seems it wasn't that long ago that Will and I would do the mad morning run around. I had to chase him - literally - around the house to try and put on sunscreen. It was exhausting. I would eventually give up or he would give in. He'd stand there with his hands on his hips and defiantly say " I DON'T LIKE IT."
Thankfully, those days are behind us. How did it happen? Well, when he was old enough to understand, I explained to him in the simplest of terms that too much sun can burn you and give you ouchy skin. He got it and wanted no part of ouchy skin.
Earlier this summer, I had a mole removed from my shoulder. Not a big deal, right? Well, the next week the doctor called me at work and said it was (very) early stage melanoma. Whoa. So, I had more removed and now have to go in for check ups every three months. Luckily, it was caught early, but it was definitely a wake up call to be even more vigilant.
Growing up, I basked in the sun. I was a lifeguard throughout high school and college and probably rarely used sunscreen. In the last decade or so, I've wised up. I don't care if I have what some of my friends call pasty white skin all summer long. If you see me at the pool these days, I'm the one with a towel draped over my shoulders. I lather on the sunscreen constantly and wear a hat.
I carry a tube of sunscreen in my purse; Mike carries one in his car. We coat our fair-haired, fair-skinned boy with the stuff constantly. It's called common sense.
Now, on the mornings when Will and I are scrambling to get out the door, I often hear a little boy pipe up and say "Mama, you forgot the sunscreen!" (Yay!!)
Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.