Tag Archives: beach

Summer Tan

16 Jul

Confession #1: Attempt to conceal a suntan


My father’s work centered on exporting Ban De Soleil which did not provide enough sunscreen and helped me tan….

I wish my mom I hope my mom did not know about all of the times that I hid my tan. Honestly, I think she must have been able to see through the J & J Baby Powder I often applied on the way home from a too sunny day at the beach. Her adamant anti-tan stance was certainly strong and right. Although, as a teenager—or even young adult, I never acquiesced and always argued against her anti-tan campaign. This is definitely on the top ten list of “Things I Swore I Would NOT Do When I Became a Mom, But Now Do with Conviction.” Except, I recently got caught falling into that old, bad tanning habit.

Confession #2: Being tan again

I was inspired to write this particular post last week when a kind, unassuming woman who seemed to be about the same age my mom would be (80 ish) commented on my tan. I was waiting for my son when she walked into the doctor’s waiting room, smiled at me and said, “Oh, what a pretty tan you have.” How could she know that her comment would incite guilt. I  had not even realized that I have a noticeable tan. I looked at my arms and saw my soccer mom’s tan. It makes sense that the sun’s rays have pierced through my sunscreen given the many hours I’ve spent on the sideline.

I felt my mom’s reprimand from years ago and replied, “Oh thank you, but I think I’d better be more careful when I watch my son play soccer.” Not intending to play devil’s advocate, she interrupted my confession and continued to compliment my “lovely color.” Then, she re-directed our discussion to questions about my son and his summer soccer. Soon I was entranced and enjoying the attention and her interest in me and my son.

Confession #3  This post is not just about the allure and danger of being tan

One of the reasons I started this blog is my husband’s observation 16 years ago. He noticed that after returning from playing with my daughter in Taylor Park, I would often have a story about older, grandmother-type women I met. I would gush, “Oh she told me about her children….she takes her little grandchildren to the park…she can’t wait to see her daughter’s new baby…..” Sometimes they gave unsolicited advice that I imbibed—I hope you don’t give her too much candy…make sure you set rules…enjoy each moment….Of course they oohed and aahed as they exclaimed how adorable my daughter was, how smart she seemed, what a good jungle gym climber she was…. Scott put this all together with a spot-on summation: through these women, I was able to experience the mom/grandmother relationship I so desired. These “other mothers” , provided a glimpse into the life I imagined I’d have with my mom. My experience last week gave me a few moments with an “other mother.”

I wish my mom knew how much her wisdom would inspire me. While I did not have the chance to admit to her that she was right about the tan (and obviously still need to be reminded), I think that she must have seen my powder cover-up as a sign of guilt and acknowledgement.

The Jersey Shore

25 Aug

The Jersey shore

I’m no Snookie (not even close), but I do love the Jersey Shore! I have always loved my trips to the beach, each and every one. Yesterday, my two teenage children and I ventured down for a few hours on the sand. And, as usual, this trip left me pining for more.  This particular obsession is not linked to my mom. She did not like the sand or tanning. Fortunately, she did love seafood and since we lived only about 30 minutes from the beach, we enjoyed both planned and spontaneous trips to Atlantic Highlands for seafood. Bahrs Restaurant was a special treat. Occasionally, on Sundays, we would go to the docks and meet fishing boats to buy their “catch of the day” for cooking at home. But, day trips to sit on the sand and ride the waves were rare.  Luckily, I was able to satisfy my beach need by going to Philip’s Avenue Beach in Deal with my friends and their moms.

With most of my relatives living far from New Jersey, I do sometimes wonder why we remain here. Day trips to the beach are one of the lures for me. Instead of using Ban de Soleil #4 (were you also addicted to that orange goop?), I slather on a high SPF lotion and thrive on the shore’s sounds, smells and relaxed ambiance. I am always thrilled to bring my children to the same beaches that made me a huge fan of the Jersey Shore!

What is your favorite beach memory? Did you grow up enjoying the beach with family or discovering it more on your own, as I did?

Those Summer Days

20 Jul

It’s that time of the summer, the middle, that brings back mixed memories from my childhood. There were times that I wished summer would never end and days that dragged on.  I remember, as if it was this morning, standing outside of my mother’s room while she got dressed, complaining, “I’m so bored. What am I going to do today? There’s nothing to do and no one to be with….”

Most of the good times were spent at our pool club, Lakeridge West Swim Club.   Some years it was THE place to be. They had arts and crafts clubs where we used popsicle sticks to construct miniature houses. There were occasional Pre-Teen and Teen Nights and outdoor movies on a huge screen. There were some day trips and great days at the Jersey shore.

Although my best friend went to sleep away camp for the whole summer, my first and only experience at sleep away camp made me a stay-at-home girl.  I joined my sister during her second year at Camp Sacagawea –a rustic Girl Scout Camp. Perhaps because I was only 8 years old or maybe it was the spiders and other bugs, I cried non-stop for the 2 week session and refused to leave home like that again. I tried day camp, but did not like the long bus ride. I could never learn the bus songs or master lanyard to help pass the time.

My own children’s summer activities are different from mine and from each other. My daughter has gone to day camp or sleep away camp every summer. She thrives on the non- stop 18 hour action. My son has played baseball and now soccer each summer. Most summers he has plenty of friends to hang out with and participates in sports camps when his team is not practicing. Neither of my children cries out in boredom.

As I have helped my children choose from the abundance of summer options, I think about how good it was to be bored sometimes! I wonder what my mother would say-would she say our children are too busy during the summer? Also, I wish I could tell her, or maybe she knew, those moments of boredom certainly did not leave any scars. In fact, maybe they helped me to be more imaginative and inventive with my summer days.

What type of summer activities and rigor did you enjoy and what do your children enjoy?