Dear children,

I am writing this letter to let you know how much I love you even though I don’t think that I am able to sufficiently express my feelings in words.

I can write about it here but you probably won’t read it anyways since if I remember correctly, I am that mom who you blocked on Facebook so that I wouldn’t comment on your profile pictures and tell you just how beautiful I think you are.

Maybe one day when you kids are older and have children of your own, you will take a moment to read these sentiments and truly understand.

I want to tell you how blessed I feel when I walk through the front door at the end of a hard day to find your five eager faces waiting to talk to me all at once. As I scramble to get everyone organized and fed while you each vie for my attention and tell me about your day, I wonder if you would even believe me that I am so happy to be home, especially after I yelled at you all for sitting there, staring at me or the TV, and not helping out.

And then when I get up in the middle of the night to go downstairs to the kitchen for a drink of water, half asleep, and step on that jagged piece of Lego, a straggler that didn’t make the cut and wasn’t deemed worthy enough to be added to the Lego tower as of yet. I see stars, muttering under my breath all of the possible words that come to mind when one happens to step, barefoot, on a jagged piece of plastic.

And then I happen to glance at that little play corner with the tower and the cars and crayons and I imagine my little one sitting and playing with them and somehow the wave of pain passes and I go back upstairs to sneak a glance at everyone sleeping in their beds and to feel that feeling of peace knowing that you are all safe and close to me.

I think about the day to day living we do together, our routine that might not be what many people would call “quality time” and yet in my books, there are no greater times than these. It is those moments that we happen to remember most fondly in our lives: the carpooling and the sitting on the bed playing board games, chatting or doing homework. It’s when I tell you for the umpteenth time to stop standing on the couch or remind you that if I had a dollar for every time I heard the word mommy, I would be able to go into early retirement.

It is because of all of you that I never know what loneliness feels like as I lay in my bed sandwiched between cold feet on one side and that little heater of a child on the other wondering where my pillow went and why I have so little of the blanket.

You, my children, have seen me fight battles for you, the only battles in life that are ever worth fighting; to make sure that you have whatever you need to make it out there in the world. I only wish I could make the world a better place for you to live in, but I can’t change the world, so in the meanwhile I create a little world of our own in our home, our utopia, where we all meet and live a life of complex interactions, laughter, and most of all safety and love. Because wherever I live, it will be home to me if you, my children, are there.

I hope and pray for you that you will learn to love, to forgive easily, to not let anger bring you down, and to judge each person fairly when they stand before you.

Home is where the heart is and my heart is with you kids whom I hope will continue to work hard and make me proud as you build your moral compasses and grow to one day love, and raise, children of your own.

When I feel angry or discouraged on any given day by something you did or said or when the day seems overly cruel and rough, I will open up this letter and read it through from the beginning until the end just to remind myself of the things that matter to me the most.

All five of them.