My daughter, Uno, has wanted to prostrate herself on the hedonistic bed of lights for a couple of years. I understand her desire for some vitamin D because I began my heated affair with the sun in 8th grade. Actually, the tan was a bi-product of my devotion to stalking the hunky older neighbor boy during his outdoor activities.
I was a dedicated voyeur who spent hours peering at the bronzed god through my Uncle’s high-powered hunting binoculars and subsequently became very tan! After experiencing the sun’s kiss, I was a committed follower who didn’t cheat until reaching the age of 16yrs. At 16yrs I entered my first tanning bed in the name of Prom preparation. The then 30 min (gasp) fake bake occurred during an era prior to public awareness of the dangers associated with sun exposure. Given that education has enlightened me on the evils of tanning, I really don’t want my virgin skinned daughter to fry.
Being the awesome mom that I am [and showing nauseous pictures of old prunes and oozing skin cancer], I have always managed to divert her longing for skin sabotage. Plus, the child is 1/2 Filipino. She merely has to look at the sun and she bronzes. But let’s face it, winters are too long and that type of parenting [fear based pictures of nauseous prunes threatening oozing skin cancer] only works so well for so long…and I knew it.
The day came when she could not be deterred any longer. Well, I am PARENT and deterrence is always an option but I figured the bake would be a good learning adventure. I parent the leave and cleave way. Life must be lived. Lessons must be learned.
We walked into the tan place prepared. She didn’t falter even when the girl presented Uno with the sun tracker (stickers applied to track tan progress) choices of a Playboy bunny, heart, star, or Hemp leaf. I knew the heart and star were nixed and I was hoping she didn’t select the porno bunny. That left the Hemp leaf.
Wait, what mother secretly hopes for their daughter to pick a brain cell killing marijuana leaf? The kind who takes her to a place that kills skin cells.
Uno said, “No thanks. I don’t like any of them.” Success! Now, that’s the beauty of proper parenting and preparation baby!
However, what I wasn’t prepared for was Uno’s “Hey Mom, will you tan with me ’cause I’m kinda afraid.” Ugh, I have spent years absorbing UV and have the fine lines and wrinkles to prove it. Miraculously, I appear much younger than my birth age and I’d like to keep it that way.
How about you? Do you guys take the risk and tan or avoid the sun at all costs?
Utlimately the yearning for that UV high of old (and Uno’s begging eyes) outweighed the developing lines and wrinkles. Before I could exhale, I found myself horizontal, butt naked and dermally absorbing some rays.
Uno was happily golden after one exposure and with my white parts tingling, I remembered that I deeply dislike tanning beds.