As parents, we get excited maybe even a bit melancholy when our children are reaching a new milestone. And here’s the thing, 10 years ago we didn’t know that we would actually make it to this point.

10 years ago, he was terminally ill with chronic liver disease and had a 2-5 year lifespan. And it’s because of the gift of organ donation, he quite literally received an extension in life. To say I am grateful is perhaps the understatement of the century.

So many times when working with people, we want to know those defining life moments where everything changed – and for me, one of THE BIGGEST was the honor of becoming his mom. I feel so incredibly blessed that he has chosen me to love him, guide him, support him, advocate for him and so much more.

But perhaps the bigger blessing in this all is what he’s taught me always rising to the challenge no matter how difficult the journey.

To always be kind and considerate to one another because love will get your further and just makes sense.

To always be you because being you is freaking awesome.

To acknowledge how you are feeling and be willing to share it – to be vulnerable.

To say no and to set boundaries.

To keep learning and trying until you master the new skill but also to let it go when it has run its course.

To always advocate for yourself because no one can do it better than you.

To not ever complain because it doesn’t change anything.

And I am sure I am missing a ton of things he’s taught me over the years.

Reaching a new milestone has never been so sweet, so inspiring and so profound.

If I learned another small thing as a parent, it is that each of your kids will reach different milestones at different times and that they all happen through divine timing and not set forth by the standards of other people. A kindergarten teacher told me he would never read and now he has a collection of books.

The ultimate lesson perhaps is that to never ever underestimate the willpower of someone that laughs in the face of challenges and adversity.

Lennon is turning 18. And to think there were moments that we thought we wouldn’t ever see this day.

My gratitude goes out to the families who have chosen to give the gift of life, the doctors who fought along side me, who hugged me during the dark moments, who were real with me when required and to be in some way our biggest cheerleaders.

But more than anything, I am grateful to have every single experience past and present and that Lennon gets to

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