I also didn't know just how hard being a mommy would be. Not only balancing act I have to perform, but also just the sheer responsibility I feel to make sure that you are safe from harm - both physical and emotional, nutritiously fed, chemical-free (could there BE any more chemicals in children's products?), giggling and laughing, having enough - but not too much - 'stuff', balancing wanting to give you the world with responsible parenting, teaching you the way of the world but shielding you from it at the same time, finding the right amount of quality time to spend with EACH of you (with limited time to begin with), finding ways to put a smile on each of your faces every single day, the very intense protectiveness I have for each of you, the mommy guilt, the wondering how I can be the best parent to all of you - each with very different needs, as well as the thousands other things that I worry about endlessly on a daily basis. Though you may (and do - Lauren) get frustrated when your friends are eating Froot Loops and you are eating Kashi, or discover that you have been eating spinach popsicles all these years or that I puree veggies and stick them in our dinners (um, sorry Steve and Lauren, I only put it in the boy's food... promise), find out what Chuck E Cheese is and wonder why you haven't been (Lauren, you were the lucky one) or why you didn't (and don't) have every single gadget and gizmo '[but] all the other kids have [it]' and the many other things that you will resent me for at one time or another; I hope you know the intent was truly for your benefit and I am sure I (will and have) made many mistakes along the way. And though I am not always the best mom, in that I have moments of shortened patience, I sometimes yell and wish I didn't (and know I shouldn't), I don't always get you outside as much as I would like or take you to as many places as I hoped, I get upset sometimes when you beat the hell out of my tables or wear inappropriate clothing (even when you know you are not supposed to) and when you talk back to me; I hope you know that even then I still love you very much. These things are my short comings and not yours. My love is truly unconditional.
I really want each of you to be true to yourself. I want you to strive for the stars, but be happy with whatever life gives you. I want you to always remember what is really important: family, friends, love, joy, being true, etc. I want you to find joy in every little thing and share it with those around you. I want you to live your life to the fullest. I want you to know how proud I am of you, for just being you. And I want you to know just how deeply I love each and every one of you. You each have brought more joy to my life than I could have ever dreamed. I am honored to be your mom. Please always know, no matter what... mommy loves you whole, whole bunches!