Monday, June 02, 2008

Soccer Tan

When I was a kid, tan was tan. I lived in Massachusetts, so we went to the beach every summer. We were there from early in the morning until after sundown, and I spent as much time baking while I read a book as I did in the water or playing in the sand. "Tan lines" meant my bathing suit marks. And most of the adults I knew were the same. Some spent hours every day tanning, and didn't even have visible tan lines (no, they didn't tan nude!).

Then I got a little older, and a little busier. I got the farmer's tan (T-shirt sleeves) and the driver's tan (darker left arm than right). I got flip-flop tans on my feet (last year's is still hanging on!), and my face is a mess of sunglasses tans (reverse raccoon eyes and the bars at my temples from the arms of the glasses) and bangs tan (my bangs angle to the left and block the sun too well). I also have a shorts tan most summers, due to too little time spend in a bathing suit, and most of that with an Alphasmart on my lap.

This year, we encountered a new kind of tan:

Number One has played soccer since she was five (she'll be 13 next month) but that was always club soccer, with two practices (late) and one game a week. This year, she played JV for her school team as well as her club team, which meant she was on the field for two hours six or seven days a week from late March to mid May.

Which brings us to the soccer tan.

As you can see above, this tan is characterized by ever-darkening knees banding between brilliant white skin above (from the shorts) and below (from the socks, which come up to the knees to cover and hold in place the shin guards, for those who are unfamiliar with the game).

Near the end of the season, a favorite pass-time (like on the bus to games) was comparing legs to see who had the best tan. One of the subjects above was crowned the winner, as she had the clearest, straightest sock line.

Ahhh, the unexpected laughs that come with parenthood. :)

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