The guilt of a fun day

It’s pretty safe to say that Saturday was one of the best days G and I had together in a long time. We always have fun, but this was a great day of father-son bonding that will be remembered for years. We went to the pool mid-morning and spent a few hours there. We played with his water guns, worked on getting him ready to swim, and I dunked him a few times to show that there wasn’t anything to worry about when going underwater.

We were having so much fun, in fact, that neither of us thought about sunscreen. We put it on before we left. It was a high SPF, too, and we had it on long enough according to the instructions that it should have worked while we were in the water.

But, of course, time flies when you’re having fun, and I didn’t think about putting it on again. Who does? It wasn’t until after lunch when I went back into the pool that I noticed my shoulders start to sting. I took a look at G, who has always been lathered in SPF and scarcely ever had a tan, and his shoulders were pink, too, but not as bad as mine. I knew it was time to go.

By the time night fell, he and I were in agony. Susan, luckily, lathered us both with Solarcaine gel to take down the heat and heal the skin. It didn’t work so well for me, but it did the trick for G for the night. I woke up Sunday stuck to the shirt I had slept in and my skin was still burning. G, however, seemed fine. It wasn’t until much later in the afternoon that we noticed a real problem. G’s shoulders had blistered. That means he had a second-degree sunburn.

We read up on what to, and found that spray Solarcaine should work until the blisters pop on their own. Then we need to treat the blistered areas with Neosporin to help speed healing and reduce the change of infection.

Honestly, I have never seen anything like this before, but I’ve heard of it and lived it once. When I a little older than G, I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando for family vacation. It was the dead of winter and we were living in New England. The sun’s strength in central Florida was exponentially greater than home, so we lathered up with “suntan oil”, as it called then. Except one part of my body was left unprotected – my ears. The tops of my ears burned so bad that they blistered. I can still remember the crusty feel of those healing blisters, and I remember my classmates wondering disgustedly at why my ears looked the way they did.

20110607-104749.jpgSo, when I look at G, I know he will heal in a matter of weeks, and we’ve already bought new, stronger, even more water-resistant sunscreen. The hard part is watching G go through this. He is suffering through a rite of passage for all redheads, but it kills me. He even asked Susan why I let this happen to him. Someone, I’m sure, could have predicted this, but not one of us did.