Dear Younger Self,
As you will find with many things, it is amazing the change of perspective being a mother and taking a few steps back will have on you. You are going to say and do many remarkable things in the next 15 years of your life and you will also make decisions and react in ways you will be less than proud of. I am not going to stand in the way of those less than proud decisions as they will help you learn and blossom. They will teach you to not be so quick to judge and to keep your mouth closed at certain times. Don't waste time regretting those moments because they are part of the intricate weaving in the tapestry of your life.
However, we do need to get one thing straight. Tanning beds are absolutely disgusting and vile mechanisms. I know, I know: you crave the warmth of the lights in the winter time and you think it helps diminish any imperfections or dimples on your body. Well I have two bits of advice for you:
1.) Save the money you would spend on your tanning pass and buy a flight to the Caribbean each winter
2.) Join a gym and start lifting weights and you won't need the extra camouflage
While you are at it, you need to refrain from being so gullible in believing that those ultra violent lights are a healthy alternative to a daily dose of a Vitamin D pill. Do you think it is natural for your body to smell like the burning flesh in a concentration camp when your 20 minutes is up and the bed shuts off? Yuck!
One morning you are going to wake up and look in the mirror and notice that your face is aging. The time is going to come sooner than later, but wouldn't you much rather have it come later? I hate to break it to you, but you look like a leather handbag when you are unnaturally tan!
Worse than that, one day you are going to have babies whose little lives you want to watch unfold and you are going to read about tanning beds being the #1 cause of cancer (being likened to mustard gas of all things) and you are going to worry when every new mole surfaces on your body. Your brother-in-law is going to die of brain cancer as a young father in a disease that he has no control over and yet you are choosing to subject your body to such harm? Shame on you! You know better! Stop being so proud of the fact that you do not take harmful chemicals like tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol into your body, but then continue to be addicted to what it takes to have a good suntan. If you can justify those actions, then you clearly do not have things figured out.
Now I don't think that you should walk around with a parasol, but for heavens sake girl; start taking care of your skin! Enjoy the beach and all that summer has to offer, but be a little smarter about cancer prevention! Hopefully the only repercussion for your foolish discretion we will have to deal with are the fine lines on your face!
Your older, wiser and much more pale self.
PS: Just wait, there are more times ahead that I sound just like our mother!