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.
I don’t think I’m an expert at parenting by any means, but I am knee-deep in raising teenagers who are pretty decent human beings. My marriage is going strong, and I think my husband is hot. Really hot.
Every time I log onto the computer or take notice of magazines in a checkout aisle, I’m confronted with ways to balance my life and reminded that intimacy is a critical part of a working relationship.
The thing that gets left out of these articles and lists is how to make time for intimacy of any kind when your house is full of kids, pets, and laundry. Well, maybe some of these articles do address such obstacles, but I have my pride and I want to be better than a Cosmo list.
Once when the kids were really young and constantly sneaking into our bed, my husband and I got busy in our van parked in the garage. That’s real life.
When my son had been driving for about 6 months we let him run errands for us with our daughter in tow. My husband and I noticed that every time we had the house to ourselves, our relationship was full of sparks. Sometimes we were able to just reconnect by way of an uninterrupted conversation. Other times, we were handsy. We were able to make out. And, thankfully, we were in agreement that we wanted more time like this.
It’s not that we never have time together, but there’s something about being alone in the house at this stage in our marriage--knowing that in a matter of less than five years both of the children will be gone and this space will belong to just the two of us again doesn’t make us sad. It’s exciting. It makes us excitable.
So my brilliant husband came up with The List™ . The List™ can be scrawled on a piece of paper made to look like any regular compilation of things that your driving son and teen daughter need to pick up from one or two stores.
The List™ should never exceed ten items. However, the list should include items that don’t exist. The reasons why will become clear in a moment.
Do know that the importance of obtaining such non-existent items, preferably with red stars marked next to them, must be carefully conveyed. Basically, these items are critical to your continued employment or your children’s ability to attend college. Ya dig?
Depending on how much alone time you would like with your partner (do you want to cuddle afterwards, or have an argument with the benefits of making up?) The List™ might include items such as:
8 x 13 sized lined paper
Cinnamon Curry in a glass spice jar
A 14 pack of diet ginger ale
Shoe laces that measure 9.5 inches
Polaroid film for under 8 dollars
6.2 oz of nail polish remover
Are you getting the jist of the brilliance here? Be prepared to answer a few frantic texts and phone calls about where they should go next to search for that elusive 14 pack of ginger ale. Be willing to give them your debit card and encourage them to take a break on their search by grabbing dinner at the Burrito Shack.
Be ready to fist bump your sweetheart with the knowledge that you have duped your kids for the benefit of your togetherness, which is still rich with love, promise, and, now, a little bit more time.