I have a friend named Logan, who just happens to be a seven year old living with Down syndrome. Logan is a bright spot in my life ready to high-five me every morning through the bus window or share a hug when we meet. I often wonder if Logan knows he's different than his peers, or realizes tasks are harder for him to master than for other children his age. You would never know if he struggles or gets frustrated. If he does, he doesn't let it show. And I know why. I know where Logan gets his strength. I know his mother. Logan's mother, Elizabeth, is the MOST dedicated, determined and motivated person I've ever met. Her son's diagnosis has helped shape Elizabeth's focus and determination becoming a great resource and advocate for other families facing similar issues. Like most busy moms, Elizabeth spends a majority of her days shuttling her children to various activities, taking care of the household, etc. But this is not what has earned my respect. You see, Elizabeth runs her home and taxis her children everywhere in her downtime. When not tied to her daily obligations, you may find Elizabeth co-leading our Intermediate School's PTO, or coordinating a neighborhood event. Elizabeth spends time caring for her elderly father or a sister in need. She is the first to orchestrate a meal calendar for a sick neighbor or start a gift giving drive. She runs our Elementary School's biggest fund raiser while simultaneously creating her church's summer camp for 500 children. I could write pages of all the things Elizabeth does for others, but that isn't my point. I finally came to the conclusion that Logan doesn't know he is different from other children and that is due to his mother having the same expectations of Logan as she does her other children. Logan does not realize his mother was told he would never talk, or that his teachers didn't think he should go to Kindergarten when it was time. His mother's relentless persistence and tireless attitude has made sure he WOULD talk and go to the next grade when it came time" and he did. Quite simply stated, Elizabeth is a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to the countless people she has touched with her infectious energy and "never give up" attitude. And that is what Logan sees and feels each and every day. That is why he pushes on and masters each new project with ease, he watches his mother do it she makes it look so easy. It is a part of his every day and who he has become. If only he knew how much time, energy, and sacrifice his mother put into every day so that Logan does not feel "special" or "different." Elizabeth's reward is watching her children succeed, no matter what the task. While we all enjoy watching Logan shine, we all know who the real star is. We know where he gets his strength, because we know his mother.