We have been having a run of track meets to attend over the last week. Last Thursday, my son participated in the junior high meet while my older daughter got to skip out of her classes and be the score keeper.
I've been preaching the benefits of sunscreen to these kids since they were old enough to talk but do you think either of them remembered? Both came home resembling lobsters. My son has very sensitive skin and by the time school ended, he had a horrific sunburn on his face and arms and his nose was one big blister. I'd go into details, but I won't. Let's just say it was gross. With numerous applications of aloe, lavender water, and cider vinegar his nose healed quickly and seems to be almost back to normal. (The vinegar was NOT on his nose. I can only imagine vinegar on a blister would add insult to injury.) But I don't even want to think about the permanent damage to his skin from his yearly sunburns.
My oldest daughter also came home with her fair share. She got the same first aid treatment, but her biggest problem was her feet. She couldn't wear anything more than flip-flops for a few days as her toes and the top of her feet were red and swollen. To top it off, she 'forgot' to drink enough water all day. So by the time she finished helping out at the track meet and then performing in a highland dance recital that evening, she was suffering a mild case of heat exhaustion.
Today, my youngest daughter had her track meet. I asked her several times this morning if she had remembered her sunscreen. She assured me she had and told me she didn't want to have the same problems as her siblings. Well, she did remember. Except for the back of her legs and her shoulder/collarbone area. At least she has a much darker complexion than the other two. The red will fade to the beginnings of her deep summer tan by Friday. Still, how many times must I tell them to wear sunscreen? Will they never learn?
We also had a bit of a scare at the track meet today. I was watching the youngest do her high jump event when another parent came to get me and told me my daughter had collapsed. I ran over to the track to find her laying on the ground surrounded by teachers. They said they weren't sure what happened, but she had passed out. Long story short, we ended up at the clinic so the doctor could make sure everything was okay, and after a shot in the stomach and an afternoon in bed, she seems back to normal. I'm not good with this kind of thing though. When I'm supposed to be tough and take care of the situation, I'm fighting back tears. I hate seeing my babies in pain. I guess it's a learning, growing experience for all of us.
Meanwhile, the meets are over. We'll file the memories away and pull them out next year, a little fuzzy around the edges. The sunburns won't seem as bad, and we'll look forward to another day enjoying the sun. And no - they'll probably never learn.