Summer vacation. Warm breezes, cool drinks, and a much anticipated chance to unwind. Unfortunately, it's not all wine and roses when you're in the hotel trying to apply sunblock to a squirming child who is alternately overexcited or exhausted. After a few days of being beaten down by this seemingly sadistic rite of parenthood, I stumbled onto an EZPZ solution.
We were at Universal Resorts and one of the theme parks has a superhero section. A dash of X-Men, a splash of Spiderman, and a huge helping of Hulk. My son was excited to take a spin. The park triggered a memory of this time in college at the beach when we had taken some funny pictures of a friend with a sunscreen "S" emblazoned on his chest and a towel cape draped around his neck. He was NOT happy when I naively shared them with a friend's wife a few years later, who then immediately posted them to Facebook. Oops! But that's another story.
Back to our hotel as I prepared for another epic sunscreen battle with my son. However, this time I painted a huge "S" on his chest and asked him to look in the mirror. He was impressed! And so began the superhero sunblock saga. Every day, a new symbol and suddenly, it wasn't such a battle anymore. This experience reminded me that unlike in the movies, it's not heroic to engage in battle and impose our will on others. For us mere mortals, using empathy to figure out a way to transform and vanquish conflict is a more difficult, and dare I say, heroic approach.
Bonus tip: This works even better if you play some heart-thumping superhero music.
Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.