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This morning, as I walked into the kitchen, I heard Sam getting up in his room. He yelled down, "Good morning, mom," and I yelled back up, "Good morning sweetie." It's our routine, every single day. If I am in the middle of something already and don't answer right away, he'll just keep saying it until I respond, as he expects me to. He said, "Uh, oh, I had a small accident in my bed, Mom." I told him to take the sheets off the bed and throw them down. The next thing I knew, he came carrying them down the steps and wanted me to come to the laundry room to show him how to put them in the washer. I smiled to myself as I watched him follow my instructions to put them in the washer, add detergent, then pick the cotton/normal cycle, before hitting "start." He beamed with pride as he turned to me and said, "See, Mom, I'm taking responsibility for myself." The stark awareness hit me in that moment of how very far we've come. He's 21, and struggling to want to be more independent, while at the same time, still needing me for so much. I smiled as I hugged him (an extra long time) and let him know how very proud I was of him. This boy, who used to have zero self-awareness has come such a monumentally long way.