Sunday, April 4, 2010

Head of Household

I'm not crazy about the term single parent. I like Thorndike and Barnhart's definition #9 for single: unique; singular; unmatched; unusual. However, when SINGLE modifies MOTHER, all bohemian sensibility is lost.An aura of isolation, and incompletion surround the term. Furthermore, when children breathe down my neck I don't feel single. With a supportive family, and community I am certainly not raising these two children without help. I am no more alone than any other individual looking out into the multi-billion starred Universe. I am unmarried. I am a parent. I do what I need to do with varying degrees of success, and elation. There are also more precisely worded terms than single parent; my favorite is Head of Household.

But let me get down from my high horse. Clearly there is a place for the term single parent. It is a quick, and convenient label. It has all of the condescending connotations that we as a culture give it, but because it is easily understandable, I use it. I continue to search for a mellifluously precise epithet for my domestic state-of-being, because I like word games, and clarity. In the meantime....life doesn't wait for labels.

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