Embracing the shade

For the second time in the past 10 months, I vacationed to a hot, sunny, gorgeous place only to return pasty pale.  My, how times have changed.  For an Italian, olive-skinned gal, this is something new and unwelcomed.  Rewind two years ago and I was a tanning aficionado.  Sure, I always lathered on sunscreen, but acquiring a deep, luxurious tan was always at the forefront of my travel plans.  To me, golden, sun-kissed skin symbolized relaxation, luxury and peacefulness.

While bouncing around the baby pool in St. Thomas (USVI) with my son, I had a moment where pre-baby Angie tried to persuade me to tether Jack’s floatie to the shaded edge of the pool and move myself into the scorching sun.  For an instant, I actually tried to stretch back and feel the rays on my face.  But the further I moved away from my baby, the less appealing the sun became.  I scurried back over to his side and continued swooshing him back and forth through the shaded water as he squealed with glee.  We repeated this activity every day.

On our final morning away, my wonderful husband offered to stay with our son so I could pop down to the beach and tan. I quickly scurried off to get ready – bikini, sun-screen and kindle.  But as I got ready to roll out, I heard my son’s little giggle and all of a sudden the thought of tanning lost its allure.

Oddly, ending a tropical vacation without a tan now means something new to me: it symbolizes quality time, peacefulness, laughter and memories.

When it comes down to it, you can buy ‘tan in a can’ or a spray tan any time, but you can’t buy time with your family.


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