Sunday, December 15, 2013


I took these pictures of Morgan this summer, just before school started. It was one of those moments that was such a metaphor for life. She was climbing a tree, inching her way up the trunk and through the branches. She never hesitated, never asked for help. I just stood their watching, in awe of her confidence, amazed at her strength. In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to that moment.

Now that school has started, I take Morgan to school every Wednesday. It's our time together, when we talk about her day, her friends, even what's on the menu for hot lunch. Over the past three months, our conversations have evolved. No longer are they just about recess. Our relationship is changing, growing, catching up to the transformation I started to witness in that tree. 

Last Sunday, we did something we rarely, if ever, do. We went to church. And it wasn't even a holiday. The pastor talked about forgiveness and love, all couched in the recent passing of Nelson Mandela. I realized that we hadn't ever talked to Morgan about him, his message, or his legacy. 

On the way to school this week, I shared with Morgan a bit about South Africa and taught her the word apartheid. I told her that Nelson Mandela had been sent to prison for a very long time for trying to change the laws of his country but did not harbor hate or resentment against those who had imprisoned him. Morgan listened intently, finally asking why they would send him to prison when he was trying to make things better. I explained that people hated Nelson because of the color of his skin, something that still happens today. She was quiet for a long, long time. "But Mom, what does the color of your skin have to do with anything?" Exactly, my precious daughter. Exactly. You are wise beyond your little years. You teach me, every day.

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