I got a little sunburned on my shoulders this weekend hanging out with our friends who were visiting. we walked down to the beach and had a lovely picnic on the beach, laughing, chatting, and sipping on cool drinks. Every time I come home with a little too much sun, two things happen:
1. The Man says, "Did you wear sunscreen? Why didn't you put on any sunscreen?"
2. Sunburns bring back really lovely, fun memories of summers past. They just do.
One of my worst sunburns was the summer after sixth grade on the shores & beaches of Cape Cod. I went with a friend and her mom. Her mom was attending a conference for psychotherapists for the week and my friend asked if I wanted to come along. The week was amazing for so many reasons, but the reason that stood our the most was the fact that we came and went as we pleased as long as her mom had a basic idea of where we went and when we would be back. Tons of freedom ensued.
We took our boogie boards to the beach and played really hard for a few hours, being tossed around by the waves, sometimes the waves crushing us into the sand, our mouths full of saltwater and seashore. Blech! Then we would eat the sandwiches we ordered every morning from this place called "The Picnic Basket." We would order two breakfast burritos and hot chocolates to eat there and then sandwiches and chips and bottles of lemonade to go. Then, we would hop on the bikes we rented backpacks full and bike down to the nearest beach.
So after our playtime, we would eat, read trashy teen fiction books, and nap. Hence, the worst sunburn of my life happened. So bad in fact, that there were blisters upon blisters and my skin ate up an entire bottle of aloe vera in a day. My friends mom called my mom letting her know what had happened. I had to stay out of the sun for the last couple days we were there and I was in so much pain, I had no desire to eat lunch or dinner at a table. The blacks of my legs were blistered so bad, the only way to pee was squatting.
But that summer trip was one of the best trips of my teen years. It was about freedom and playfulness and as a teenage girl, I did things that brought me joy. I still have and wear the sarong I bought on the cape that summer as well as my little yellow jewelry box.
The Cape taught me that sometimes we can have too much fun and that too much of anything can leave you burnt, sometimes to a crisp. I laugh now and am way more diligent about my sun exposure. 19 years gives you a bit of wisdom. Anyway, the memories that come with the burns are sometimes bit worth it. But don't tell The Man that.