Happy birthday, adored one!

So the tall boy turned 18 last week, which has totally weirded me out. First of all, about fifteen minutes ago he was five, so I'm not amused that the time is just plain gone. Second, -- well, I think there is no second.

And really, when I look back on the near-death experiences the tall boy has lived through, it's a miracle that he's here. No shit.

Putting aside the whole repeatedly collapsing lung thing -- People! He drank X-14 scum remover when he was eleven months old. When he was two, he wandered into the street just as a dump truck barreled along. Screeching brakes, I honor your service. As you may remember, he fell through the carport ceiling and landed on the concrete below when he was twelve. No, it has not been repaired, and don't look at me like that. Did you think I was kidding when I told you I have earned the Bad Mother of the Year award every single year since 1992?

But even though I am not the mother he deserves, he is the light of my life.

A kinder person does not exist on the planet.

Curious and too daring, he is willing to try any adventure. If there is a trail leading to it, he has hiked up it, paddled through it, fished on it, or rappelled off it. Not particularly interested in a driver's license, he is all about learning to fly. In a plane if necessary.

He was born a hugger, and has never lost the knack -- offering the perfect hug at the perfect time to lift my spirits or get himself out of trouble.

He will hug me in public. Once he even hugged me in the lobby of his high school. Shocking, but I swear it's true.

I could go on about his brilliant mind, his determined attitude, his beautiful spirit, but I'm clearly so besotted with him that you wouldn't believe me -- even though every word would be true. I really just want to say that I know without a doubt that I am the luckiest mom.