It’s just like being dumped, or cheated on – the feeling when a parent leaves. They tell you they’re going and then you all have to wait, while the child is happily unaware of what awaits. You have to say ‘hi’ to each other in the morning and wish them a good night at the end of the day, and you have to do it with a smile because that’s your job. Sometimes they’re embarrassed, say next to nothing and practically scurry. Some want to get their last cent’s worth and question every little detail of their child’s day (“Well why do you consider that a science experiment? Wouldn’t it be more accurately labeled a physics experiment?”).
Sometimes you thought you were close, and every mention of their name tears out your heart, all over again, fresh like the first time. And suddenly they don’t want your opinion on how to raise their child anymore, and they aren’t going to spend a half hour in the morning complementing your teaching style, and they no longer wish to know where you buy your glasses. You can’t yell, you can’t throw things at their head in an infinitely satisfying manner because it’s just work.
It just doesn’t always feel like work.