The Stuff Webster's Leaves Out

My sister is in town (which I always love) but it is also a reminder of just how different the stages of life can be. She is almost ten years younger than me and our paths in life have been polar opposite. She is rockin' it as a single girl in a big city and I married young with kids raisin' um in the burbs.

Often when she comes home, she stays with my parents and gets to spend time with my kids since my mom helps watch them while I work. This gives her a peek into my world and it is so funny to hear her talk about it.

I came to realize that once you have children words can take on a new definition. Here are a few I thought of. If you have others, please share.


For a student, this means cramming all night for an exam or project the next day which you probably had months to do but enjoyed life too much and now invest 1 long night preparing for it.

For the childless, post-grad, this means drinking until god knows when and passing out god knows where to find your way back home in the morning.

To a parent, this means staying up with a screaming and/or puking child most of the night, wondering how you are going to get up and go to work the next morning. It may involve laundry, baths/showers, lots of rocking, pacing and praying depending on the cause of the screaming.

Partial Credit

Students: getting credit for part of your answer on a test/quiz

Pre-parent, Young Adult: realizing that your partner/spouse had good intentions but failed miserably on the execution of whatever they tried to do for you

Parent: getting the laundry sorted, pretreated and washed but not folded and/or put away


Student: Mom/grandma's cooking

Pre-parent, Young Adult: Thing you make to impress/woo your quest

Working Parent: Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, chicken nuggets, veggie side dish and if you are going all out – box mix brownies for dessert

Vacation (if you have been following me, you probably saw this one coming)

Student: Spring break

Pre-parent, Young Adult: Somewhere heavenly, drinking all day by the pool, fine dining, clubbing at night and sleeping in until noon to start all over again.

Parents: Loading 90% of what you own in a minivan/plane off to someplace with the goal of creating lasting memories for your kids where you continue to clean, cook, referee, nurse and entertain. If you are lucky you slip in a few beverages pool side and off to bed by ten. Perhaps big amusement park plans are in your future.
(Really this is not a post to scare anyone out of having kids, so let me end on a high note.)


Student: a crush, perhaps the feelings you have for your parents

Pre-parent Young Adult: Attraction to someone who shares your interests, beliefs and lifestyle. Perhaps even your soul mate.

Parent: Holding this tiny miracle in your arms, knowing that every breath you take from now on will have a new purpose, your entire body surges with this rush of emotion that you have never truly experienced until now and you realize this is what Love actually is.


Mary said…
I love your definitions, but I want to add the grandparent spin on them, so here goes:
all nighter; sleeping all night and not waking up to use the bathroom.
partial credit; only getting credit for part of all the work you do.
homemade; apple pie made from scratch (even the crust); and/or following the recipe and having it turn out like the picture and taste good too.
vacation; flying, not driving to your destination and spending time with only your spouse.
love; watching your children grow up and become responsible parents, so you can hold your grandchildren in your arms, enjoy every minute of it, and when the baby starts to cry, smile, and hand him/her back.
Love is spending time with your family and finally love is having your family picture taken, and they all show up with smiles on their faces (except Kara, but she is only two). Thanks guys, I felt very loved.
Mercedes said…
This is so true and funny!

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