Stretch marks - Buddha lessons from my children
I have often thought of starting a teen-pregnancy prevention movement educating girls about the ins and outs of pregnancy. The curriculum would consist mostly of my showing all of my stretch marks (no, they do not become silvery almost invisible "trophies") and discussing the joys of morning sickness, sleep deprivation (yes, I am still talking about pregnancy) and "sharing" space within your own body that you never really thought you would have to sublet.
I hated pregnancy, every doggone moment of it.
I LOOOOOOVE being a mother!
But there are definitely stretch marks involved. They start during pregnancy, creeping across the body. They continue post-partum, all over the psyche.
And the wonderful thing is that whether they are physical or psychic, they teach the same thing: having kids is about letting go of control, of neat-and-pretty, of perfect and grabbing hold of confusion, of messy, of whatever you've got at the time.
As it turns out, that's pretty much what Buddha was trying to teach.
So it is for Buddhists and parents: the more you think you're in control and everything will be perfect, the more you will suffer. Yet when you can let go and be in the moment and in the messiness and confusion, the more you will reside in joy.