I don’t read the papers that come home from school. I don’t help her with her homework. I forward the emails from gymnastics to my husband and add invitations to the calendar so he can keep track.

I don’t remember any other time in my daughter’s life that I have been so terribly absent.

Maybe when I was in school and working an election campaign – but short term distraction versus inability to engage is a very different feeling.

Not only do I not know what’s going on with her, day to day, I don’t have the energy to work on finding out.

We have moved past the point where I automatically know what’s bothering her and maybe even how to fix it. She won’t listen to me when I try to talk her through things. I don’t have the patience to let her be and then go back and try starting again.

I don’t know what happens in class, I don’t know what she does at recess. I don’t know who she likes or doesn’t like today.

And when I do try to do something special, just us, I get it wrong somehow.

It is very hard, day to day, to feel as though she’s moved past needing me. It used to be that she wanted me, only me, all the time. Now I’m barely even here.

For a mere moment I had it all figured out.

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