Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break: Mom Vs. Co-ed

Back in the day, which is to say back in my day circa 1994, spring break conjured up thoughts of college-age kids gone wild.  The formula for a successful and memorable (memorable sometimes only by photographic evidence) spring break was: book a flight to an island that served alcohol to anyone + rum punch + clubs + bikinis + 12 girls staying in one hotel room = the vacation of one’s dreams.  One being someone with very low standards.  Fortunately for many of us, YouTube did not exist in 1994.  I’m not saying it was fortunate for me because I would have nevvver participated in such debauchery, mom.

When I was 20 I had the great pleasure of broadening my knowledge of the world and what lies beyond our great United States and I visited the Bahamas. I am not saying that the above was anything like my experience but what I will say is I most definitely did NOT bungee jump over the pool at that club.  I might have been crazy but I wasn’t stupid.

Let’s fast forward 18 years.  It’s my spring break once again and it got me thinking about the contrasts and comparisons between a spring break of carefree college students versus one of a mom.   The similarities are startling, actually.  And although there are differences, they are quite subtle.

Moms and college girls both participate in activities involving wet t-shirts.
I guess wet t-shirt contests were (still are? I have no idea) all the rage during spring break, according to MTV’s wildly popular spring break series.  Again, this is based on scientific research with the help of MTV, not personal experience.  However, in the first few days of my spring break this year, I came across some wet t-shirts.  Yes, they were all my husband’s white t-shirts in the laundry, but still.  I almost threw one on to wash the car in the driveway just to remember that feeling, um, I mean, see what it was like, but I decided to continue to be a respectable adult in my neighborhood.

Moms and college students both get excited when someone yells, “Shots!”.
Yell “Shots!” near college students and they will flock to you like baby birds waiting for their next meal.  However in the house of a mom, when “Shots!” is yelled during spring break, it’s most likely because she scheduled every doctor’s appointment known to man during this one week when the kids have off from school.  For a mom to have one week when the kids are off from school (and being a school teacher, I’m off, too) is awesome.  Every appointment and errand can and WILL be accomplished in a Monday through Friday timeframe.  So although it’s no shot of tequila, a shot to prevent little Joey from getting the TB? Now that’s a good time.

Moms and college students can laze about in the mornings.
During spring break, moms who are home with their kids for the week have a less harried schedule.  We don’t have to yell, “Go brush your teeth, we are late!”  We can move a little slower, enjoy a cup of tea, and get in a snuggle with our little ones before our day blasts off.

College students during spring break laze around, also.  Most likely in a hungover state of, “I’m not so much lazing, as I am unable to move my body off the couch, floor, or table that I passed out on last night.”  And snuggling? Yes, that happens, too.  With a certain lady or gentleman friend who might have accompanied said college student home last night.  One big difference with the snuggle?  Unless my little one also has a stomach bug, I probably won’t get puked on as a mom.  I cannot guarantee that with the college spring break snuggler.

Moms and spring breakers don’t sleep alone.
Spring breakers are either sharing their beds with friends because 21 college students are stuffed into a room meant for four due to budget issues. Or else they are “smushing” (please refer to a Jersey Shore lingo manual for definition if you are not already cool enough to know what this means).  We moms share our beds, too!  What’s hotter than a snoring husband who occasionally “lets one fly” mid-slumber?  How about a first-grader stumbling in the room at 3 a.m. because he had a dream that a giant spider under his bed ate his dog and now he’s too scared to sleep in his room? 

So, you see, we really aren’t that different.  At this point in your life, would you want to continue life as a “Spring Break Mom” or go back one more time and experience spring break in its purest, most primal sense?
Disclaimer: This is not to say that all college students engage in binge drinking and sexual activities.  This is just what I’ve been told can happen and through extensive research through MTV.  Maybe you spent your college spring breaks helping your grandma buy groceries and studying, and if so, good for you.  But some of us, ahem, some other people, have other recollections of their spring breaks.