My oldest child turned 18 today. At 5:35am Eastern Standard time. I had just turned 20 and my life was no longer my own. Which was huge. I was going from college party girl to mom in no time flat. My youngest brother had just turned four, so it wasn’t like I had no experience with babies. But to be fully responsible for someone else, that’s the biggest thing in the world. I remember bringing him home and him crying and me almost hysterical because I didn’t know why he was crying. The nurses at the hospital seemed to speak baby and could tell you from the cry what he wanted or needed. I had no clue. Then I gave myself the mental slap across the face and told myself that I was just going to have to figure it out. And I did. As billions of women before me have and billions more will. He grew and grew into a super smart and handsome boy and then into a young man. He’s had to live with some really hard things. He learned much earlier than some that life isn’t fair and that it can change in a heartbeat. He struggles, and he’s trying to find his way. And that’s part of growing up. I watch, and hope and pray that good things are coming for him and that he’ll make them happen for himself. Happy birthday my boy. Thank you for making me a better person and for making me a mom. Best gift I’ve ever gotten.