I get kind of mushy about motherhood and Mother’s Day.

I’m not just the mother of my two biological children. Kenny’s three kids are mine too. I’m so proud that I’m mom to my brood, and I’m so humbled that I was able to be there for them and give them all what they needed. To me, that’s the real definition of motherhood.

Together we have created a family that couldn’t be closer. None of the kids, all of who are now in college or beyond, calls each other step-sister or step-brother. We’re just family.

For us, Mother’s Day has never meant gifts or even brunch. It’s a day that allows the kids to tell me how much I mean to them. We approach Father’s Day exactly the same way. Kenny and I have always felt that it’s really important for both girls and boys, who, due to social constraints, can often be less demonstrative, to learn to express their feelings and appreciation for someone they love.

So on Mother’s Day, they always write a big, ol’, long card. I’ve kept all of them. I would share each and every one in this post, but lucky for you we’ve recently relocated, and I can’t find the box they’re stored in. However, my son Jacob wrote a poem about family when he was in the fourth or fifth grade that I posted online so I can share that one:

Where I’m from.

I’m from playing and teasing, from roughhousing to wrestling, and from pillow forts that always had to be bigger than the last one. I’m from a house filled with excitement and big brothers. I’m from hot wheels and Power Rangers, from hiking trails to dragon tails. I’m from staying up late to watch the fireworks and from good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. I’m from hockey practice four times a week to blushing when my mom cheers the loudest at my game, and from running into trees while skiing with my sister. I’m from a loving and laughing family. Our tree is strong and young, a tree that stands tall and proud as kids climb on its branches. Our tree is a tree that has yet to lose its leaves.

I just love that! For me, motherhood is basically family—being an awesome wife and partner, as well as being there for the children. I can’t imagine a more fitting Mother’s Day tribute.