Celebrating your own personal independence

Recently America celebrated Independence Day, the 4th of July when the whole country goes bananas with fireworks and parades and family picnics.

fireworks for the 4th of July

The 4th of July happens to be my favorite day of the entire year, and not just because I love celebrating with my family and a watermelon salad at the city swimming pool, although I won’t lie, that doesn’t hurt.

I really love the whole concept of independence, whether that of kids forging their own, or brave citizens around the world fighting tirelessly for freedom in the name those who’ve gone before.

celebrating personal independence

Or you know, in the case of me and my children, the celebration of sartorial independence.  Freedom as a 4-year-old to wear a knitted poncho and mustard yellow 70’s sweater, my mother’s patent leather heels, my father’s cowboy hat, and some bright red lipstick.

It took me awhile to figure out as a parent, but letting my kids figure out their own stuff without intervention has been critical to their independence and self-confidence.  Every time I try to step in and tell my kids how it “should” be done whatever “it” is, I undermine their ability to be strong, independent, empowered little humans.

4th of july sparklers

They know what they want, and how to get there no matter how often I get in the way.  Just like I knew exactly what I wanted from the minute I showed up on this planet, regardless of what anyone else has ever said about rules and propriety and any other obstacle in my way.

In the end, celebrating my children’s independence and understanding their need to be their own proprietors of reason has forced me understand my own independence more completely.  And in that understanding is the knowledge that I’ll never be truly independent again; the pieces of my heart don’t belong to me anymore, they’ve been walking around inside my children from the moment they arrived.

life is a special occasion

I love Hallmark and love partnering with them again in 2012 as part of their “Life Is a Special Occasion” campaign. As always all stories, opinions, and naughty children are my own.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Jessica :

    This is so true. The youngest of my children are suddenly hitting the ages where I need to bite my tongue and let them figure things out for themselves. It is so hard no to just swoop in, pick them up and solve all of their little problems that seem so big to them.
    And? I think you and I and every child of the 70’s had that floor.

  2. Kelleyn :

    Love that picture of you! You were a fashionista even as a itty bitty! Glad you had a great 4Th.

  3. Pennie :

    When I gave birth to our first, I asked my husband what he was thinking while I held our daughter; she was like a couple of hours old at that moment. And he said “I dunno. I’m just gonna be nervous all the time now.”