Letter to Carsen: 7 months and counting!

Happy 7 months sweet boy.

What a joy you are to everyone you meet. You make your momma and daddy so incredibly happy.

- You are crawling backwards.
- You'd rather stand than sit.
- You started doing the splits. And then getting stuck.
- You started "solids". Egg yolk and avocado. You like both, although the avo gives you gas.
- You puked for the first time while on momma in the ergo. You started choking and your parents freaked out in front of Nando's as we frantically tried to get you out. It was terrifying.
- You grab everything!
- You had your first accident when you stuck your hand in momma's hot tea, as well as head-butted the glass door a few times while daddy held you. And so it begins :)
- You were in Cape Town, South Africa when Nelson Mandela passed away. [December 5, 2013]

And while you cannot comprehend what this man stood for or accomplished, let me tell you.
I won't sit here and say Nelson Mandela was a perfect man.
The perfect role model in every way.
Who is?

But I will say, Nelson Mandela had every right to hate, be angry, resentful, and vengeful.
But he wasn't.
Instead, he became a man of love, kindness, peace and forgiveness.

He was a man who loved his people and demanded racial justice in his country.
He was sentenced to life in prison.
And spent 27 years behind bars.
But he never lost hope.
And forgave the people who unjustly put him there.

What would I want you to learn from Madiba, as he is affectionately called here?
- Perseverance. He never gave up on the idea of seeing his people free in their own land. Even when imprisoned he did not give up. He was tried and tested, and he pushed through.
- Patience. In a fast food society like today, this art of waiting has been lost. Madiba understood it.
- Forgiveness. He forgave his "enemy". He encouraged his people to forgive, and in the case of rugby, support their "enemy."
- Servant leadership. He didn't want power. He wanted freedom and equality and went low in order to see it happen.
- Peace-maker. In the end he choose non-violence. He realized peace was the only way to stop a civil war breaking out in his land.

Son, you have the honor of living in this beautiful land with a bruised history.
They have a long way to go.
But have come so far.
We have the privilege to come along side as this country continues to walk in forgiveness.
It's an honor to do so with you, my son. 

I love you.
Momma Bear  

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson Mandela