I was going to post yestarday about Chrismtas past...about last year when he showed up day of, and left the same day...collected his presents, returned none, sat quiet and smiling, maybe a little disappointed over the lack of "fun" gifts, grateful though for warm clothes. His twin sister commented how sad it was that everyone gave him things to keep him warm in his life as a street person. Then he lost everything, or gave it away, or (as he says) was robbed. In retrospect...he has never held on to anything. Ipods, drumkits, clothes, books, cds, duffle bags and backpacks...they all disappear. In some cases I have given him the same gift over and over for years..in the end I can only conclude that they are a pleasure of the moment, that he does not value the money or effort behind them in the way I need him too...so it is harder to justify giving him anything but a few tokens. But that was yestarday I was going to post that thought piece....then I was walking to work and saw a grizzled, scraggly bearded street person huddled in front of McDonalds on a mat with a sign...had his hood up and avoided my gaze...it was my difficult child. I wanted to vomit...that he was there, that we didn't speak, that it was so cold, that my sweet chubby laughing baby had turned into this miserable cold wreck, that he must be cold and that must be making him scared...all those things. My SO drove by later and swore to me that it was not my difficult child, that he looked him straight in the face and it was not he...but I don't believe him. And even if it was not..that is where he begs, often, and surely he is out there begging in a similar state somewhere... for those of you who don't know us, he is 19, schizoaffective, gets $500/month SSI and $200/month foodstamps (arranged over the course of a hard year by me when he turned 18) and lives by choice on the street. Well he likes when he can stay with friends, but since he contributes nothing he inevitably gets thrown out sooner or later. And he sometimes wants to stay with me but that never lasts since he can't abide by the simplest of house rules, and I am afraid of his friends. MOstly he doesn't want to stay with me anyway, he seems to see himself as a rebel without a cause, and is sort of proud of his street survival skills. Again, though, that was yestarday, because today he called and told my SO that he is in jail again...picked up for panhandling, uncovered one of many bench warrants. MY SO came and told me gently. He said that difficult child did not sound upset, just wanted us to let his girlfriend know by FB message (neither of them has a phone). I wasn't upset either, this time...I feel like stone. It is very very cold out and he is off the street tonight. Last time he hated jail, was angry and frantic the 4 nights he was there. As is his pattern, this time it is not so foreign, what was scary before is familiar now...and I have to wonder if he just didn't want in tfrom the cold. It is all a mystery. I don't understand his choices. I don't understand his rejection. His ever cheerful smile as he falls lower and lower is heartbreaking to me. It is just a day for tears.