Dear children, be whatever you want

Dear children,

I know you’re still small, that you’re growing into your feet and arms, and long, long legs.  I know you don’t have to decide right now who you want to be when you grow up, or what you want to do with your life.  Right now I’m spending a lot of time thinking about you when I fall asleep at night, when I wake up in the morning, and when I’m at stoplights.

In fact, I spend almost all of my consciousness thinking about you and your happiness in this life.  I worry a lot about making sure you eat the right kinds of foods to make your little bodies strong, and I think a lot about you making friends at school so you’re not alone on the playground.  But mostly I think about how I want you to learn how to be good, kind little humans.  And no matter what, I want you to learn to be happy.  Now, and especially when you grow up.  I want you to be whatever you want to be, as long as it makes you feel completely awesome about getting out of bed every day.

dear children, be whatever you want

Baby Girl, you made me a mother.  You created something inside me I didn’t know was possible to feel.  You made my heart bloom and swell, and you blow me away every. single. day.  I’m fascinated by your complete devotion to cooking, that you’re smarter than I, that you’re an insatiable reader.  I love that you think I don’t know how to dress and that you wear exactly what you want.  I love every single thing about you all the way down to our identical toes.  I think it’s amazing how you understand animals and bake a better cake than me, even on my best day in the kitchen.  I love that you’re interested in politics, and world history and travel, and that you’re not afraid of anyone.

children be whatever you want

I don’t know how you learned to be such an amazing human, but I’m thrilled to have a front row seat, I hope, until you have little people of your own.  And I want you to listen very, very carefully to what I’m about to say: I want you to be whatever you want to be when you grow up.  Right now you want to be a vet, or a professional musician, or maybe own a bakery.  You love kids like crazy and you’re obsessed with babies, but you’re not quite sure how you feel about actually becoming a mom.  That’s okay.  Whatever you want to do is awesome, because all I want for you in the end to be happy.  Really and truly happy.

children be whoever you want to be

Little Man, I love everything about you.  It blows my mind that you wake up happy every day of the week, all year long.  I love that you snuggle me and call me ‘mommy’ when no one is listening.  I love the little freckles on your nose, and especially the one on your chin.  I think it’s funny that you didn’t talk until you were 2 and that you haven’t stopped talking since.  I love listening to your stream of consciousness from the minute you get out of bed in the morning until you fall asleep at night.  I don’t know how your little brain works like that, but I’m glad it does.  It’s amazing watching you grow and learn how to read and put together complicated math problems.  You got that from daddy and my grandpa, it certainly didn’t come from me.

dear children be whatever you want

I hope that when you get to be a grown-up you can be a professional Lego builder, tree climber, bicycle rider, skier, jump-roper, construction worker.  Probably by then someone will have figured out how to combine all those things into one big job made especially for you.  You might not want to live with me when you get older, even though you say you’ll never leave me no matter what.  I love you for wanting it, more than you know.

I hope that whatever happens when you grow up, there won’t anyone who tells you it isn’t possible, no matter what it is you’re trying to do.  I hope there isn’t anyone in your future telling you to slow down, or stop running, or to stop creating magic, because that’s what you are little man, you’re my little piece of magic.  Be happy.  Stay happy.  If anyone can do it, it’s you.

children be whoever you want to be


life is a special occasion

I’m so excited to be partnering again with Hallmark in 2012 as part of their “Life Is a Special Occasion” campaign. As always all stories and photos 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. cabesh :

    I love this post extra because these are all thing I wish I had heard from my parents. You’re a great mama!

  2. dgm :

    This is exactly how I feel about my 13 y.o. daughter and 9 y.o. son (who sound a lot like your kids)–so privileged to have a front row seat to their development. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kathleen W. :

    Oh my, that’s so heartbreakingly sweet and poignant. You said so much how I feel about my children. Thank you!

  4. Rainey :

    This post made me happy. Sometimes it’s so nice to know that our young ones are in good hands–hands that will ensure they are encouraged with discovering their potential. Which is limitless, really. I believe that if we will allow it, they will amaze us, every day.

  5. Senja :

    Oh, that was beautiful! :) Makes me look forward to motherhood even more!

  6. Chrisy :

    Lovely. Your son’s freckles are perfect. They both look very happy. I’d say you’re doing something right. :)

  7. Sheila@Chinaberry :

    What a beautiful letter to your kids, sigh . . . I hope they can read it when they are older and can appreciate it (maybe when they have kids of their own). And I love that you emphasized how important happiness is for them. That’s one thing I want to do more, because, as my mom said, only you can make yourself happy!

  8. Alix :

    You are so wonderful, Mama A. Also, your girl is looking SO MUCH LIKE YOU it’s awesome.

    miss you. dottie is in SLC for a little biz today and tomorrow and she and I were just talking about how we missed having our breakfast with you at ALT last time!!

  9. Aleena jasmin :

    So sweet, I think we must encourage our children to do whatever they want…

  10. maile :

    Tears. You are a good mama.

  11. Kristen :

    Oh girl – you know how to bring on the tears. sniff sniff. What a special post!

  12. Liz :

    Those are some REAL lucky (and totally cute) kids!

  13. Niri :

    Perfect advice. I always say to my kids, I don’t care what you become as long as you are a kind hearted person.

  14. Carrie :

    this moved me a lot…it’s a similar message that I give to my 8-year-old: “Life is good. No matter what.”

    Your babies are beautiful…