If I could teach you one lesson today, (besides this one) it would be to always wear sunscreen. Someday soon, you will get annoyed at my insistence of covering every inch of your skin with a thick layer of greasy white sunblock before I let you do anything fun...like stepping outside. This is one of those things, dearest girl, where you just have to learn from your Mumma's mistakes.
You see, Madeline, you are a ginger. And gingers and the sun are mortal enemies. I know it's a hard reality to accept, but it's the price we pay for being born without a soul.
Observe the results of today's shenanigans.
Years from now you may look at this, roll your eyes, and say, "Ma, come in, it's not even that bad." Look closer, my love. See that white horizontal line extending down from my collarbone between my shoulder and my neck? That's not a white tank top strap. That's the color of my actual, normal skin color. Now, compare that "normal" color to the rest of my chest and shoulder. See the difference?
Don't assume that because it's cloudy you won't get sunburned. That's a mistake. You will burn. Don't assume that you'll be inside all day, so you don't need sunscreen. That's a mistake. You will burn. Don't assume that a little dab of sunscreen on the tips of your shoulders and on your face will be enough. That's a mistake. You will burn. Don't assume that your sunburn will morph into a beautiful tan. That's a mistake. You will peel.
I'm sorry that your mother didn't pass down beautiful, tannable skin to you. I'm sorry that you too will someday be forced to scramble for the shadiest spot at the picnic table before anyone else gets there. I'm sorry that when we go to the beach I will make you wait an extra five minutes before returning to the water so I can reapply your coat. I'm sorry that you'll never be able to wear a yellow bikini because even though yellow is supposed to make you look more tan...on we gingers, it's a giant disaster.
Wear your sunscreen, my Madeline. Wear your sunscreen.