A Triple Gem in the Family
Nshorna, my daughter, aged 26, looked enormous. I took some photographs of her at home about week or two before the birth of her third child, a boy, named Milan (from the Sanskrit for Union or Connection) in Torquay.She stood in the front room and pulled down the front of her baggy pants to reveal her the naked skin of her massively swollen stomach. Eeeenormouos. Nshorna didn’t walk but kind of waddled from one place to the next with a quiet determination to do what she needed to do. Never complaining. True grit. As she said: “You just get on with it.” So we now have a Triple Gem in the family. Three lovely grandchildren. I can only offer three bows to the outpouring of sacrifice, dedication and love required to bring up children. There are constant demands day and night, massive sleep deprivation and the financial struggle to make ends meet, as well as the constant pressure to be a good parent.We need to develop a culture of community, of sangha, where we all contribute to welfare of children and parents. There is a desperate isolation of families in society, the world of ‘name and gain’ takes priority so couples are left to get on with it. Politicians make patronising remarks about single mothers, or teenage pregnancies, or non present fathers – as if that is the problem and the resolution.When I see Nshorna carrying the little baby in one arm, holding the hand of her little girl with the other hand, and her handsome young son walking along besides her, I can only acknowledge the capacity of her heart to embrace this new challenge in her life.Her physical expansion of the cells of her stomach in the last stages of pregnancy was gobsmacking. Her heart now expands to embrace her Triple Gem on a 24/7 basis. The ordinary is extra-ordinary.