Posted by on Mar 11, 2012 in encountering a judgy person in public, judgy strangers, strangers who judge parents in public |

You were a little dramatic today, turning around and gasping when you saw my son. Yelling out, “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD! HE’S SO SUNBURNED! OH, LOOK AT HIS LITTLE LEGS!! HE’S SOOOOO BURNT!” was a little over-the-top.
Don’t worry, you made your point, to me and half of the fans at the game. Everyone in our general vicinity now fully believes I’m a bad mom who lets her kid bake in the Arizona sun while I lounge back and take so many pictures that I actually capture you as you start yelling at me.
But before you open your mouth like that, you should make sure you know what you’re talking about. My kid has very fair skin. He hadn’t yet been in the sun long enough to have a full-on burn. He was red because he’s a kid who naturally overheats easily. Those of us with fair skin frequently turn red when we’re hot or nervous or embarrassed. I should know — he inherited that fair skin from me.
You should also know that I had been frantically slathering the kid in SPF 75 every 20 minutes since we stood in line to get our tickets. I burn very easily and fully expect that he does, too. But my total paranoia is what has kept me sunburn-free for the past 7 years. I take care of my skin, and I’ll do my best take care of his, too.
Furthermore, we’re not just letting him sit around all sweaty and hot and miserable. You may notice that not only is he chugging a bottle of water, he’s also got wet hair. Maybe that’s because his parents have been sprinkling water over his head, arms and legs to keep him cool (and as an added bonus, he thinks that’s a really fun game).
He lives in Arizona and needs to get used to the sun and the heat. It’s not going anywhere. So being outside for an hour and a half on an 80-degree, breezy day is not going to kill him.
I wish I had taken down your phone number so that I could have sent you a picture of him when we arrived home. During the car ride, in which we blasted the air conditioning and allowed him to douse himself with more water, he returned to his natural color. And now he is taking a good, long nap, having soaked up all that lovely sunshine and fresh air.

Best,
Meghan

P.S. Or, as my husband would say, “He may be red, but you’re ugly.”