Since becoming a mother and especially after finding out that I’m BRCA1 positive (which means I’m at a greater risk for developing skin cancer), I’m even paler than I’ve ever been. That’s saying something. My brother used to call me Chez Whitey and my husband used to call me his Albino Princess… sweet, right? Although in my teens, I wasn’t thrilled that I couldn’t tan without getting a horrible burn first, now I really don’t care. I would rather be safe than sorry (I think I’ve more than proved that point by chopping off my boobs, no?).
These days, I count a vacation as a success if we come back as white or nearly just as pale as we were when we arrived at our warm weather destination. My Husband The Invincible is not really on board yet. Although he could be as much as a quarter Native American, he looks more Irish/Scottish/English than anything else. Since he doesn’t know of an elevated risk in his genetic profile, he throws caution to the wind and tries to get tan. It’s a running joke when we are on vacation. Me: “Hey Babe, you are so red! Did you not put sunscreen on?” Him: “Who me? This is tan!” Mind you, he’s one shade away from lobster.
So maybe I was a tad over zealous when packing his sunscreen, which may have made it less enticing for him to use it. He wasn’t too happy when all he found was SPF 50. “Mommy’s more aggressive than I thought!” he said to the girls. Yes, yes I am. I slathered myself and the girls in SPF 60 several times a day, so we didn’t burn. Grossed out, the big girl asked him why his skin was peeling on our way home. He may as well have a scarlet A. He has now been made an example of and I will continue to use that gruesome image to persuade her to be diligent about skincare. I’m happy to report that not a single person would suspect that the girls and I have just spent a week south of the border. (Patting myself on the back and feeling great about that. Smack the big guy on the back, he will wince just a little bit.)