Today we took Estie to the pool for the first time. I'll admit I was a little apprehensive. I mean with her being such a raging ginger and all, I was afraid that her little porcelain epidermis might hiss and sizzle when we dipped her into the water on a boiling-hot summer day, sort of like chicken thighs in a fryer. But after slathering her in expensive organic baby sunscreen - which we then wiped off because it formed a weird, peely goo on her skin, not unlike Elmer's glue (we just wound up using regular people sunscreen on her, which does not appear to have poisoned her) - she did just fine. And she LOVED the pool! There was a zero-depth wade-in area where she played around with a bubble fountain, a deeper area where Daddy took her to kick and splash, and then a grassy knoll where she sat on our towel and chewed on a water bottle, which I think was her most favorite part of the whole trip (go figure). We all had a blast. And Estie, naturally, was THE cutest creature there, in her tiny purple swimsuit with the tulle rosettes, and her pretty sun bonnet that Grandma made her. And amazingly, she wasn't even the most startling carrot top at the pool. There was a full-grown adult male ginger a few towels over from us, basking face-down in the searing rays of the midday sun. (He was actually pretty cute, if you're into vampiric complexions and mango-colored hair on a man, which I am.) His skin cast a white glow around his body like a heavenly, if not entirely socially desirable, aura. I did not approach his palid corpse to determine whether he'd slathered himself in weird sunscreen too - but in the end, it wouldn't really matter. There is no SPF on earth strong enough to protect that kind of flesh from so much direct sunlight. Gingers, slathered or un, should just not sunbathe. It's not natural. And I am willing to bet that Rudy - which I have decided is his name, Rudy the Redhead - will be sporting a terribly unflattering and painful shade of lobster tomorrow morning to go with his orange hair. It's not a good combo. Have you ever seen a sunburned ginger? I pray you never have to. As for us, we will definitely be going back to the pool soon - if merely to serve as an inspiration to other parents of mango-headed children. WE CAN DO THIS!
Mommy's little [ginger, sunscreen-slathered] sun goddess!