I've never been able to understand the children's reactions when the mother first announces that she is going to college.
As she is at pains to say, it's not for ever and she will come back for weekends and holidays. They aren't little children who need their mommy all the time, but Sam blubs like a three-year-old and even the nearly adult Ben objects strongly.
I realise that it all goes wrong after a bit, but they aren't to realise this. Is the movie trying to convey that Sarah is violating some principle of American momhood?