Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pale Face Does Not Equal Couch Potato

I have very pale skin. I always have. I don't tan easily, but neither do I burn easily - unless I do something silly, like go hang out at the beach all day without protective clothing or shade.

My children have my skin type. They don't burn easily, but neither do they tan easily, and so, even though they spend a couple of hours outside every day - especially during the summer - they don't have much of a tan. Their time outside works out roughly as: an hour or so in the morning caring for the animals and puttering around the garden; sporadic time in and out throughout the day; and a couple of hours in the evening, before or after dinner, just playing and/or riding bikes.

In fact, they're so pale that, the other day, when we were at the grocery store, the cashier quipped that they needed to get out more. He suggested a day camp, like those offered through most municipal recreation departments.

Today, my daughters devised their own solution for tempting them outside. They won't get more sun, necessarily, but at least they're not indoors, playing video games - which is what the cashier assumed they were doing rather than being outside. The idea that they might be outside riding their bikes down our shady road never entered his mind ;).


  1. I too have skin that doesn't tan well, however it does burn.

    If you talk to any dermatologist they would be pleased your kids don't have tans. Childhood burns, and just too much time in the sun, can easily result in skin cancer. And it's occurring in younger people (20's & 30's) all the time.

    Trust me, as one who's had 2 basal cell cancers, one involved 12 staples and 6 stitches, 1 squamous removed and multiple pre-cancerous areas frozen, NOT getting a tan is wonderful.

  2. Amen to Bellen's comment! When I was a kid I would purposely go outside and burn to a crisp for a day. Within the next 48 hours it would turn to a deep dark tan - my father did the same thing. Now I'm not even 40 and regretting every time I did that, just waiting for the day the doctors give me the bad news as I'm already prone to moles and have to watch them like a hawk because of the multiple extreme burns. Better that your kids are kept safe - and if anyone mentions it again, well, here in Japan their lovely light skin, sans tan or burns, is highly prized. ;)

  3. Ha ha! My nephew from AK is down visiting and he and my son are outside all the time this week. In addition to slathering on the sunblock, guess what they pitched in the backyard as well? Great minds think alike!