We're taking him out to dinner at the local microbrewery...He says he wants to see what the big deal about it is - he used to live across the street, but has never been there. They have a "sampler" of their brews. He's not that much of a drinker we feel odd about it, and that's his choice - we've always given him choice of restaurant for his birthday dinners...so that's where we're going. But it says something about me that I keep thinking about an actual gift. In February we paid for a new smartphone and one month of service - over $100 - and told him that was an early birthday gift. In March we paid $140 for electric so it wouldn't be shut off...but after that the bill was on him. His apartment building burned before he had to pay April. Now that he's homeless until May, we've paid $70 for one night at Days Inn and $300 for a week in the cheapo hotel. We've bought food, twice (not too pricy), paid $40 for his phone service and probably another $40 in laundry machines and detergents, etc., to clean his and his roommates things from the fire, in addition to storing anything salvageable and cleaning the dishes, etc., which was a nasty job. When they move in May, we've already said we'd get him Goodwill furniture and he'll need some new cooking utensils, etc. We'll probably give him another old TV, since the last one we just left in the sooty apartment (one of those big old ones you can't give away)...and we want to buy another anyway for ourselves. We'll likely help them a bit with other expenses of getting into the new apartment too. In short, we've spent a boatload of money on him since this fire and there's more to come. In December we gave him a blue-ray player (early Christmas gift). This weekend we learned it's gone. He pawned or sold it, as he does anything he gets of any value. Still, part of me says, "It's his TWENTY-FIRST birthday!" Birthdays have always been a big deal to me. I shouldn't feel this way. I shouldn't think I should give him something material, because he won't hold on to it anyway. In another life, we'd be giving him a computer or a decent amount of cash or a car. In another life, he'd deserve and appreciate them and would treasure anything we give out of love and generosity. I want that other life.