In two hours the world will have seen the last of Fred the twenty something. I'll now be the Fred the thirty something. Who would have thought I would have made it this far. It seems like it was yesterday when my I punched my mom's Swedish boyfriend in the groin. I was five years old and they were horsing around. He was holding one of her legs up and she was hopping around on the other to keep her balance. I thought my mom was in distress, so I charged up to the guy like I was the bionic man. I put all 40 pounds of kindergarten strength and inertia into my little fist and let it go with a vengeance. Needless to say he let go of my mom and coughed up a testicle. Why do I bring up this story you ask. It's actually one of my first memories and it's illustrative of my love for my mother. Although tomorrow is my birthday and cause for celebration, the person who really deserves recognition and celebration is my mother. Not only did she go through nine months of hell, several hours of extreme pain followed by 18 years of hardship, she did it all while teaching me about life. It may have taken me years to recognize the lessons she taught, but they were there. So what ever your impressions are of me and any blessings or goodwill you'd like to direct towards me, please forward them to my mother.