…kids, come in, have a seat.
Your mom and I have something very important that we need to tell you, though we know you might not want to hear it.
The two of us will be separating, and I’ll be moving out. I know this comes as a shock to you, but trust us, we’ve done everything in our power to keep this marriage alive, but it’s just not working out and we’ve grown to realize that it never will, and so it would be for the best that we no longer live together.
I know this must come as a shock to the two of you, but I want to make this perfectly clear: This does not mean that I love your mother any less. I love her just as much in this moment as I did the day I first proposed.
I have always loved her.
I probably always will.
It’s you kids. You guys are the worst.
When your mom first became pregnant, I was naturally concerned. I’d never considered myself the fatherly type, didn’t even know if I wanted kids, but all our friends who had their own assured me that, once you were born, I’d grow into the role. They told me that the moment I held my newborn child my whole world would change and a wave of love and connection to you would come over me, washing away any doubts I might have regarding parenthood.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I first held you, Timmy, I felt nothing but resentment at the opportunities lost, the hopes and dreams that, saddled with a new, squalling little monster that I was expected to be responsible for, I would now never be able to pursue.
I resented you so deeply, Timmy. So, so very deeply.
Please don’t hold that against me. After all, I sacrificed eight years of my life for a person for whom I felt nothing, gave up any interests I might have had, just to make sure you didn’t die during that period where you were utterly worthless on every objective level. In exchange for all I gave up, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that you cut me a little slack.
Sarah, I wasn’t nearly as resentful when you were born a year later, but part of that is just that, for the second child, I’d already adjusted my ambitions downward. Yes, I’d have liked to not have a second child, but really after the first the damage is basically done.
Plus, I just like you better than Timmy. Timmy is just the worst.
Sorry Timmy, but let’s face it, you are.
Still, Sarah, don’t take the fact that I resented you less than Timmy to mean that I felt any meaningful connection to you on any level, because I would hate to accidentally imply that. It would be intellectually dishonest of me to do so and I pride myself on my intellectual honesty.
Or did, at least, before childrearing robbed me of any lingering sense of self that I might claim pride in.
So no, for the record, I’ve never felt any warmth or love toward you either, though I admit I liked you better than Timmy. I don’t know why I didn’t, you’re a perfectly acceptable kid and deserve appropriate amounts of parental fondness, I just don’t feel like we ever connected.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe it’s my fault for feeling that love should be earned.
Maybe I expected too much from you. From both of you.
I expected you to be more… loveable? I guess?
I’m sure the fault is mine, most parents do manage to love their kids, or at least to fake it believably enough that nobody questions that they do. I just don’t have it in me. I’m too honest for my own good, too honest with myself and, now, too honest with you.
Still, poor of spirit is the man who shuns knowledge of himself. I’m an awful father, I feel nothing for either of you, and it would be unfair to all of us were I to continue wasting my time on this whole project. You deserve better, and I deserve much, much better.
Anyway, I’m leaving. Your mother has sole custody, since she seems genuinely fond of the two of you, and I doubt I’ll be visiting. I mean, I have visitation rights, I just can’t imagine any reason why I’d want to. I wish you both the best of luck in all your future endeavors, and I hope that this little incident doesn’t scar you emotionally. I may not love either of you, but you’re both good kids, well, mostly you Sarah, and though I have no interest in raising you and watching you grow, I do sincerely hope that the two of you grow up into the fully realized, interesting human beings that you aren’t right now. You do deserve that, everyone does, and though I have no intention of supporting you, either emotionally or, more importantly, financially, I do wish you all the best.. Have the happy life you deserve, kids.
I’m not the boss of you.
And to be honest, it would take a team of German scientists and the worlds most powerful electron microscope to determine how little I care what you do one way or the other….