Here on the west coast The Cohen's had no idea what to get you for your birthday. Otto suggested a hamster or a live brown bear, complete with a cage and a year's supply of salmon. Dave said an XBox and a live stream off Internet porn for a year would be "dope". I thought perhaps you would want an unlimited amount of marshmallows and a new baby in the house but I remembered that your parents have a life now and do not want to give that up for all the tea in Shanghai. The only thing I can give you in time that doesn't require Fed Ex or assembly is a few sage words about your mom.
She has been a great force in my life for twenty three years. She became my friend and made me sane in a high school that I looked at as a prison filled with angry lunch ladies and alcoholic teachers. She made me laugh when I knew my friends were shits and unfunny. She always had a smile and a cheery story to tell about some crazy fucker we knew who just got busted/married/divorced or addicted. She kept her shit together through some really rough times with nothing more than a bawdy joke and a stellar outlook. She fell in love with the love of her life, your dad and never questioned destiny. She's held my hand through some hilariously sad and embarrassing moments in my family with no judgment and no criticism. Without her I would not have had the nerve or the inclination to start writing and get on with my life of mean spirited comments and daily musings.
So Max, my gift to you is a window into the wonderful mom you have who will always be your best friend, your best ally and your best comedy writer, in the event you get a network deal or need her to write your senior thesis for you, as my mother did for me. You are one lucky kid and don't forget it.