September Suns: The Good and the Bad

The September sun bathes me in a certain kind of warmth. It reminds me of two great things and one thing that seemed good at the time but, in hindsight, was not so good.

September brings reasons to celebrate

First, that which was good then and is good now: the birth of my two sons. (I have a July baby too, a daughter.) Son number one was born on a lucky Friday the 13th, Sept. 13, 1985. Son number two was supposed to by a Halloween baby, with a due date of Oct. 31, four years later. Curious to see the world earlier (and still inquisitive to this day), he decided to arrive around seven weeks early. He seemed little to us, at 5 pounds 3 ounces, but the doctors were not particularly impressed. They had seen “real” preemies weighing in the two-pound vicinity.

They are buddies now, but at the time, my older son was mad at his younger sibling. That’s because the new arrival had kept me and his dad away from his birthday party, which we had planned for a week before the actual date.

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Luckily, my parents were visiting, so they could supervise the party at Chuck E. Cheese, the hot place for kids’ birthday parties. My husband and I couldn’t be there, because we were in the hospital having a baby. Not that a parent ever forgets a child’s birthday, but the date of the birth of son number two had a certain ring. I remember my nurse saying to me, “You’ll never forget this date, 9/9/89.”

September suns that led to problems

And now for some other good days that had bad repercussions.

Ten years earlier, when I was in journalism graduate school, I lived in a Victorian house in Brookline, Massachusetts, with six other recent college graduates. There were a couple of law students and another in med school and some other graduate students. My J-School program was at nearby Boston University.

We took turns cooking meals which we ate at a ping pong table. I thought it was “shabby chic.” My parents were not so impressed. They probably would have been even less enthused if they had seen one of my favorite study spots.

Sun-bathing study habit

A second-floor window opened up to a roof onto which we crawled out and did our homework.

The sun felt so good and particularly strong, probably due to the way it reflected off the shingles on the roof. It was like sitting on the beach with a reflector in my hands, only I didn’t have to do anything! The tree-lined street was so pretty. When I was done with my homework, I sat a little longer because I felt so content.

September sun bathing brought cancer

Who knows what portion of our past sun exposure contributed to our current skin cancer? I don’t know if it was my time at the beach or in the back yard, or the work I did on a kibbutz in Israel or my summer as a lifeguard or any of my many outdoor activities. But it’s probably safe to say that the spring, summer and fall days that I sat on that roof didn’t help. And I’m sure I didn’t put on any sunscreen.

At least I didn’t fall off.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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