Having a child who lives elsewhere is hard. I think most people would agree and understand that it must be hard. But, like everything involving parenting a special needs child, I don't think most people really understand just how hard.
The day to day life that most parents take for granted is lost for a parent who parents remotely. Sometimes the staff and professional will understand that loss and work toward helping families remained connected, but often they don't see the need or don't think it's best... sometimes they even feel it's harmful.
This is especially complicated in the case of a child who has attachment disorder and doesn't get why he should tell you anything about his life because... well... it is *his* life after all. Without the help of the people in his life, we are left knowing nothing and having no input.
The losses pile up and snowball and hit you in the face, one by one...
Your child wears clothes that you have never seen, they give away clothes and gifts that you give them, they go to bed at night and rise in the morning without a good night or good morning from you. They read books and watch movies that you are never able to discuss with them. They learn, they see, the grow and they do and you never know.
Moment after moment races by without you knowing what fills them. Teachable moments, so many opportunities to pray with them, to talk to them, to share life and find joy and to nurture and show love.
So many other people coming and going in the child's life. So many other world views and perspectives. So many comments, so many values. So little input from you. Opportunities for growth and seeing family promoted as a priority are overlooked and lost.
Today I discovered that Middle's school picture day came and went without a word to me. His proofs were sent home to his FCP and whatever she did or didn't do happened without a word to me. The total disregard for us and our connection to our son is the heaviest burden to bear.
It is the little things that can not ever be repeated or replaced. Those things that a mother wants to know in her quest to know her child. It's the little things that knit hearts together and join lives. It's the little things that we grieve.