I keep saying it over and over. He’s 18. He is really 18. It seems obvious and surreal at the same time. We have lived a lifetime in these last 18 years.
There were times I didn’t think we’d make it here.
He was sick – so sick. Chronically and often critically. The first few years were some of the hardest I have ever experienced. The next few years were filled with a child who required 24 hour, line-of-sight supervision. He often struggled to breathe, for many years struggled to eat, and went days without sleep. He got every childhood disease known to doctors and some they had not seen up close. His reactions to illnesses were twice as bad as other kids and his fevers were unreal. He ran into streets, climbed out of windows, ate things that could have killed him, he choked often and required too many trips in an ambulance. He spent too many nights in the hospital and has taken more medications than I could list.
But look at him!
That little face of his made it absolutely impossible to not start each day over again, with just a little more hope.
Because along with the difficult has come so much good. The joy of watching him master things and get past difficult stages has been amazing. Watching him with his brothers, each one of them, has been so rewarding – he was never a jealous older brother, he was happy to have them. His years at The Midland School have been wonderful and we have watched each year as he developed new skills, worked hard, and made friends. I have seen miracles, real ones. I know there are more on the way.
I am so thankful for Ethan. I love his quirks (most of them), his sense of humor and his ability to adapt his environment to his needs. I am glad I get to be his mother. I want to spend this milestone reflecting on the fact that this is an amazing life, sacred and special. I could not be more proud that he is my boy.
Happy Birthday, Ethan!