Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall Festival Season

I mentioned recently that I was inspired after attending a fall festival and my daughters reaction to seeing me bringing the sunscreen from the car.  Since then I really have felt that this is the right thing to do.  I have been to several more fall festivals.  In the south, we are still wavering between short sleeves and thin long sleeves or hoodies.  Thankful that I don't live in a colder climate.

This past Saturday, I took my daughter to a local church festival.  It was a cooler day, very windy, but sunny.  After a couple of hours, I was noticing lots of pink cheeks.  Now, some of that may have been from the wind, my lips definitely got chapped, but I think it was mostly from the sun.

Monday, Halloween, there were two festivals.  The first is the one that I really want to talk about.  It was at my daughters school, just for the two Pre-K classes, and I was a volunteer.  I was assigned to do face painting.  Not what I signed up for, I actually told them that I would do anything but face painting.  At the Saturday festival, I ran into one of the teachers and she told me what I would be doing.  So I had plenty of time to mentally prepare myself.

I got there early and was helping a teacher set up. It was chilly in the shade, but warm in the sun.  I asked her if I could be positioned in the shade, but as we set up that did not happen.  I understand trying to keep the kids out of the shade, since it was also a little damp, the shade was cool, but I was really panicking.  Yes, I had on sunscreen and my spf moisturizer and make up.  When another parent came in costume, I actually considered the possibility of using my hood as added protection.

I wonder if some day the thought of spending an hour in the sun, mid-day, is not going to put me in panic-mode.  I know that other than my daughter, most of my family thinks I am overreacting when I scramble for sunscreen for short bursts of outside time.  I don't like that, but the sun is the reason I have this scar on my arm and all these biopsy spots that look like cigarette burns or eraser sized divots.  I get so frustrated sometimes that they don't get it, or want to get it.  I wish I could be more relaxed when I know I have on sun protection, but SEEK SHADE is not something to ignore either.  I know that it isn't going to happen, although I pray for the ability to relax and maintain my composure and embrace the moment, it will never leave the back of my head.

In that hour that passed very quickly, I painted about 20 faces or hands.  I couldn't help but notice all the pink cheeks.  I also noticed that my snow white daughter did not turn pink, even though she did not leave my side in the spotlight of the sun. It wasn't a big ordeal for her, she got her sunscreen as she got dressed in the morning. I really cant wait for the opportunity to speak with parents about the importance of sun protection.


  1. its so nice to hear i am not the only one... my son's class just had their fall festival and they were going to set me up outside... i panicked, but fortunately they ended up putting me inside... good luck talking with the parents... glad your daughter started early and wont think twice about being sun safe...

  2. Isn't it a bitter-sweet relief to know that we aren't alone in panicking before getting out in the sun? Thank you for sharing your story too.