Making Out: Countdown

Making Out is a series centered on how Jess Burnquist, mother, writer, and teacher is "making out' as she processes adolescent issues amid the glare of parenthood and the shadows of nostalgia.

About Jess

Le Sommeil, by Alphonse Eugène Félix Lecadre Image Source

Recently a neighbor of mine expressed her envy over my winter break. “You get to spend so much time with your kids. I wish I had that,” she said. She has two children under the age of ten. At the time, I smiled and nodded sympathetically. I chose not to reveal the depths of my black heart.

Until now.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m in my 40s, or because my teenagers are old enough that I can tell they are going to be great adults, but something in me wants to smash all of the mothering myths.

My kids are great. I love them desperately and am proud of them daily. Perhaps knowing what amazing young people they are becoming gives me the confidence to speak up about the realities of time off with my kids.

For example we did not once sit around with coordinated fleece blankies, sip hot cocoa and chat about a recent ski trip. We don’t even ski.

Nor did they wake up like fresh bunnies, bring me the paper and serve me coffee.

We did couch surf and agree on one Netflix show, argue over which movie to watch at least three times, and often go for hours without really communicating. Truth.

In the spirit of the new year, I have decided to do a countdown of the top ten things that I have said, thought or overheard during this frequently romanticized time together. #blessed

Top 10 Truths About Time Off with the Children

10. Get up. Get up. Get up. It’s almost night.

9. Oh? You’re going out and have determined your own curfew? How adorable. Give me your keys.

8. They never stop talking. Ever.

7. This is a book. It has words like that screen but the words--they mean things.

6. Why won’t they talk to me?

5. Wait. Are you guys talking about drugs? What’s dabbing? Don’t laugh at me.

4. No. Make your own lunch. I fed you for years.

3. I just gave you money.

2. Stoptalkingstoptalkingstoptalking. Oooommmmgggg.

1. They can come over when you clean your room. (hahaha. lolz.)

Happy New Year!!!! Get up. Get up. Get up. CLEAN A THING!

* You may find archived installments of Making Out, and other work by Jess, at