Menu

My darling boy,

Today you turned one. You are officially a toddler and I realize that time is flying by with all the ferocity of a falcon.

Your newborn T-rex hands are now adorably pudgy. You can grab the smallest little speck of dirt and you don't hesitate to put it in your mouth. You have almost graduated from crawling and have already taken your first few toddling steps.

Soon you will be two, then three, and five and 10. And then, as naturally as an acorn growing into a tree, you'll be a teenager and an adult—a full-grown man.

Much as I want to hit pause and adore your gummy-toothy smile, I am also eager to see the strong, wonderful, kind and loving human you will grow up to be. And to help you be all those things I promise that I'll help you, teach you and set you free to be you.

FEATURED VIDEO

I promise to teach you independence. You have an adorable way of looking up at your dad or me before you do anything naughty as if asking for permission. (The fact that you do it anyway, perhaps is a reflection of your free spirit). As you grow up, I want you to be empowered, strong and confident enough to take your own decisions. No sly glances of permission necessary!

I promise to make you self-sufficient. You should be able to look after yourself—cook, clean, feed yourself, do your laundry and even sew on the odd button that comes off your best formal shirt the night before an important meeting. "Every woman must be a needlewoman", my grandmother told me when she taught me to sew. In the spirit of equality, I'd like to add, "Every human must be a needle-human." And so, I shall teach you to sew and even to knit and embroider if you'd like to learn.

I promise to teach you the scientific method. The current climate of disbelieving empirical scientific facts and believing in fairytales scares me and I want you to not fall prey to this phenomenon. I want to teach you to question even a seemingly scientific statement and verify its veracity. I want you to debate, contest and research; to keep an open mind for new possibilities, theories and hypotheses. And to take nothing at face value.

To that end, if you ask me a thousand questions about why the water is wet, or why the sky is blue or why there are 36 crore gods in the Indian pantheon, I will patiently try to answer. If I don't know the answer, I will look for it, and in doing so, I'll teach you how to research.

I promise to help you develop a healthy respect for the human body—whether male, female, transgender, old, young or differently-abled. We all have wonderfully efficient bodies which are the product of years and years of evolution. Nobody is more important because of their age, skin color or gender. Neither is a woman impure: because she bleeds every month. In fact, you are a product of a woman's menstruation. We all are.

I promise to never force you to eat spinach or bitter gourd or broccoli if you'd rather not. I will respect your choices as an individual, even when you're a baby barely out of your training pants. Too many parents of too many children force healthy dietary habits on their babies. That does not mean I'll let you have all the chips and cake you'd like, but if you have a particular distaste for a certain vegetable, I'll respect your taste, as I would another adult's.

I promise to teach you the value of kindness, not just to our fellow human beings, but most of all towards animals, trees, birds, insects and the littlest of life forms. If you rescue a sick kitten off the street, I promise to tend to it and find it a home. If you find a caterpillar among the vegetables, I'll teach you to carefully place it on a plant and give it a new lease on life. Kindness is unfortunately underrated in today's world, but I'd like you to prove to the world that one can be kind as well as smart, strong, cool and hip.

I promise to let you climb all the trees you want, dance in every rain shower, jump in the muddiest puddles, make the most spectacular mud pies, grow your own little vegetable patch, swing on the aerial roots of the banyan tree, pet every stray dog and cat, and run around as wild as Mowgli.

I promise to teach you to sing with the birds, gaze at the stars, see shapes in fluffy clouds, follow the rainbow, walk to the furthest bluest mountain, and find a fairy under a mushroom. But most importantly, I promise to give you a childhood you deserve—one that is green with trees, blue with the sky, brown with mud, and pink with flowers.

Love,

Mama

You might also like:

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

You might also like:

Shop

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play