The week of Thanksgiving? I was ready to throw in the towel. Not kidding. Monday afternoon - He fixed the fence (broken for 3 years) and did a perfect job!!! Then raked the leaves out of the drive and SWEPT it!!! OMG it looks fantastic. Now I have no worries about the puppy getting out. He really did a super job. Even DF was impressed. Monday night - Dude asks me after work if I would take him to former girlfriend's for his birth certificate (long story) I said yes. He asked (not told) me if I would drive a certain way. Seemed a longer out of the way hike, but I obliged him. He asked me if I had Christmas music in the car. I did. We turned it on and he told me the reason he chose this way was so he could take me to look at Christmas lights. I LOVE this!!! Every year it's me and the furkid. This time? It was me an my son. I gave up asking years ago. It was just perfect. I was in shock - I cried when he told me what he was doing. Not much, just happy tears. He chuckled and said "You act like it's a big deal Mom." - He'll never know. Tuesday night he asked if I'd take him to a young mans home that is in need of "mentoring". He said the kid is giving his Mom a lot of trouble, and he knows the boy (age 14) because his best buddy used to go around with the boys sister. The parents were going to ship the kid to his grandparents it's gotten so bad. Dude went over there, helped him clean his room, throw stuff out, made him a chore chart (wonder where he got that idea) and then calls him every day and said he can call HIM any time he gets angry. He has gone over twice this week just to hang out and play with this kid - ride bikes, build radio cars, show him how to do stuff. The Mom came to MY door last night and said "Can I tell you how much of a difference your son has made in MY home?" (WE're thinking ARE YOU KIDDING?) but said _"That's our counselor in the making isn't he wonderful?" Dude says "Aw he's not a bad kid - he just needed someone to talk to that's all." The other night he did some tattoo work on a pair of jeans for me that is phenominal. I love it so much I'm going to wear them out as soon as I can figure out how to put a barrier behind the marker and my skin. I took pictures....he did it free hand from a picture I saved for years. He's been getting up for work - no hassles. He's been going to bed at a decent time - no argument there either (he's too tired). Last night he cleaned his own area up. (faint). He actually ASKED if he could go with us to the grocery store, and asked for things for his lunch. His new boss tells him things like he should APPRECIATE his parents. In his own way is mentoring him. (I think I like this guy and his wife? Same way) He's not giving him a huge paycheck - he is making him really earn it. I told DF about a week or so ago I was going to try something that I know sounded nuts...but I was going to lavish this kid with praise, and words of encouragement as if he were a #1 easy child, straight A kid - apple of my eye...could do no wrong person. I tell him I love him more often, I tell him he's the best, I tell him he's my favorite son, I'm proud of him, He's fantastic...GOOD JOB, EXCELLENt....and DF thought I was off my nutt. I told DF - WE have tried EVERYTHING else....Every book, EVERY parenting class, dang near every medication, How many Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, Group homes, Foster care, countless therapists, counselors, and prayers....What if...What if THIS IS the answer? What if positive affirmation instead of "OH no not that again....when will you ever learn HOW many times do I have to tell you? WHAT are you doing now? I can't believe you are...." Think about it. Just saying "I love you." Instead of "I can't stand you." I have nothing to loose. And besides I know someone that loves me no matter what I do...So I figured why not. I'm not saying it's proven, or going to change the world here. But to see my son smile, have a conversation 60% of the time instead of 0% of the time.and share an occasional laugh or have him hug me in public? THEN....to have him say "Can I go with you guys?" "I'll be home by 11:00.....and be home by 11:00." is a far cry from where he was a few months ago. AND I didn't detach any less...I just said "I love you." a little more. I dunno. I've had it so bad for so long -----If this is as good as it gets? I'll take it and appreciate every moment.