It is so different when it happens organically before your eyes. You see the kids grow and change physically and emotionally over a period of time, allowing adjustment. Separation removes that normal progression.
Each time I receive a photo, which isn't often enough, I am shocked at the changes. I rarely talk to the kids anymore, another heartache, but when I do, they sound and speak so differently. Their interests, especially my grandson's, are so different than they once were. We used to talk weekly. Now, not even monthly.
It's impossible for me to send them gifts anymore because I don't know what they like. My grandson always wanted everything soccer - balls, T-shirts, cleats, videos, books. For his birthday in May, he asked for money so he could buy stock. Stock?? I am still reeling from that one.
Before moving, he said he definitely would come back here to go to the University of Florida. Now, he says he wants to go to Stanford in California or MIT.
My granddaughter has changed, too, but in less drastic ways and less unsettling ways. But, still the transformation is obvious.
I didn't expect all of this so soon, so fast.
I don't know them anymore. And, may never again.