The conversation lasted two words: "Too much." Too much pain? Too much regret? Too much suffering. And who's? From twenty nine hour a day parenting to none, in the space of one brief, bitter phone call. "We don't want to live with you, Dad. We want to live with Mam, fulltime." And then a long overdue pause of a pregnancy, waiting for the response. Not sure if it would be explosive rage, reprisals and recriminations, or sad acceptance. All that came was the dialing tone. It spoke more eloquently than any words would have done. One more abandonment, in a stream of abandonments. Not unexpected.
No one in this situation wants to be the 'Token Dad,' the 'Weekend Dad,' the 'Take me on trips and I will forget to thank you, Dad.' When that happened days later, the only thing quietly uttered were two words, while a happy (happier?) child jumped out of the car, and ran to her new home. Dad token spent. Unexpectedly, the last and only one.