So most of you know that after a lifetime of difficult child-ness, Matt is partially (mostly even ... maybe??) easy child or at least, a emerging typical teen. One lingering problem is his withdrawl from socializing. He was always popular despite his difficult child-ness. Then after grade 8, he changed so much, morphed into a teen trying to do better, trying to learn from mistakes. Part of this change was him withdrawing into home, and away from socializing. Other than 2 brothers who he's known since birth, he has had NO friends. Not one. The 2 brothers are both busy. One about to graduate and move on to University after this year, busy with hockey etc. The other brother is working, paying rent, living a more "adult" life. My difficult child didn't want to meet new people, he was worried they'd learn his history of issues and he wanted to fly under the radar I guess. I have urged him to not forgo friendships, it isn't healthy. But he dealt okay with it and didn't seem unhappy. Last night he asked for $ (he never asks for $) to go to the movies and for supper at a fast food place. I asked with who. I assumed one of the brothers since they've not been around much. Instead it was a group outing with boys from his grade 11 civics class. Funny enough, S/O and I were going to the early show of the same film he was going to later that same night. We ran into him in the mall attached to the theater. He was chatting away and laughing with a fairly large group of boys. They all dressed trendy but not crazy, looked well groomed and well behaved too for a group of teens unattended at a mall. It was so nice to see him with friends. I didn't know how much it bothered me, his withdrawl. I was able to see my old Matt coming back to life, but minus the baggage that weighed him down, and in full confidence in himself that he's a good kid with goals and alot to offer others in friendship. I told easy child today "Your brother went out with FRIENDS". She pretended to faint . She then hugged me and said "he's coming back mom". Wise 10 year old my easy child is!!! I kind of welled up. easy child and I are in cahoots to not make a big deal about his new friends. But inside, I'm so proud he picked good kids to get to know, and that he's finally feeling well enough about himself to not feel ashamed if his friends learn he has a history. Dare I dream, that it really IS all history?? *sniff sniff* He's now 6'3, 150 lbs, facial hair, size 13 feet. He's a man. And I'm darn proud of him.