My "baby's" birthday

My "baby" turned 19 today.  He didn't come home last night but walked in the door at 8AM - conversational and calm.  He said that his friends all got together at his good friend's house to celebrate his birthday.  Would have been nice if it were here but -- oh well.  He's not allowed to smoke in our house but is allowed to at his friend's because the mom smokes.  
Reflecting back - 3 summers ago - on his 16th birthday - was a time I'd like to forget but I can't for, at least, reasons.  One - thinking back - makes me realize how far "we've" come since then.  Even though he's not in recovery - "we" are healthier as a family and for that - I'm grateful.  Two - remembering also helps me to continue my quest to do more to help other parents who will be or who are dealing with their teen's substance abuse.  
Three years ago T was chomping at the bit to open his gifts from us.  At this point, we had decided that we weren't going to give him any money because he was so out of control and we knew he was using drugs.  At that time we didn't know how extensive his use was, or what it really meant, but we knew giving him cash was just asking for trouble.  So I went and bought an array of restaurant gift cards - places he liked to go to.  Well, you would have thought we gave him nothing.  He went into a rage - screaming and crying and yelling obscenities.  He told me how mean I was, etc.  I felt horrible.  I left the living room where he was sitting in a chair by the window.  From the kitchen I heard glass break and the front door open and close.  What he left was our front window panes broken.  It appeared that he leaned back in his chair - during his "fit"- smashing the window.  I don't think he meant to break it - it just happened due to fit of rage.  Anyway, I look outside and as he was walking away from our house, he turned crying and gave me the finger - saying that he wasn't coming back.  He was gone for a few days.  We knew he was safe but we weren't sure if he was going to be home in time for us to drive a few states away to attend my parent's 50th anniversary and then from there we were supposed to go on vacation.  He made it home in time to leave.  It was a very ugly and scary time.  
Today - I know I'm healthier and stronger.  T seems to have improved too because his parents are doing better.  Obviously, I wish he'd stop using again.  It breaks my heart.