Yes, I am a mother. Yes, I am unmarried. Yes, it is a tough road traveled based on choices I made. However, the roads of indignant stares, sideways comments, backhanded compliments, and counterfeit smiles are much bumpier. “Isn’t that so-and-so’s daughter that’s pregnant”…”she is the best single mom I’ve ever seen”…”she so smart, how did she get pregnant”. Sound familiar? After the child is here the choice has been made. Yes, she made a choice that affects the village but the village USE to be one collective impermeable unit. My son is not my burden; he is my blessing. He is my inheritance. (For the inheritance of Lord Jehovah is children, the reward of the fruit of the womb) My womb has not been sullied by promiscuity, tainted by insubordination, or defiled by rebellion. It has been used for the exact purpose it was created. It bore life. The sheer concept of conception, life, labor, and birth are too intricate to even begin to explain or question. The meaning doesn’t get simpler if she is unmarried, a teen, a mistress, a prostitute, a lesbian, a cow, a sheep, or a dog. LIFE is LIFE!!! The circumstances do not taint the blessing. It proves that even in our most fleshly, disobedient, selfish, and cowardly selves God is present. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. We are all but balls of energy, and since we cannot create or destroy energy it stands to reason that THE CREATOR is responsible for all births and deaths. It is simply God willed or God allowed. His logic is not your logic. If it were the bible would not have to instruct us to ask for wisdom. (James 1:5)
My confusion is based on the fact that only 30% of children are raised in a two parent home. If I, we, me, my kind, are the majority why is this still so shocking? Let us take off our robes of false piety and righteous indignation. I would ask that we remember OUR heritage but that implies it’s been taught. I say then, LEARN our heritage. Bring back the village! Stop trying to put all the responsibility on the church.
So it’s happen to most of us: You know you only have $50 left to your name. You are in Kroger’s negotiating with yourself whether you need cereal, you don’t have milk. You’ve decided on what meal will last tonight and tomorrow’s lunch. You have thought of new way to prepare SOMETHING based on sauces and seasonings you already have at home. You added tax and have pep in your step on the way to the counter because you still have $7.00 for gas. You sigh with relief and get in line only to be behind a basket with steak, shrimp, salmon, perch, Hawaiian rolls, and every wham-wham and zoo-zoo known to man and her child is pulling gum off the shelf while she isn’t looking. By now you have added up the $247.23 in her cart BEFORE the cashier has finished, you look up with the “stomach-virus face” when she pulls out the blue card that says ‘Arkansas EBT’. (Pause) Remember, take off the aforementioned robe. Are you angry with her because she is getting assistance? Are you angry that you couldn’t get milk? Are you mad that she doesn’t have to figure out a recipe for cocktail sauce or teriyaki glaze based on condiments already in the fridge? Before you get angry remember that someone, maybe not you because you only have $7.00, has never asked “I live downstairs and noticed you have a small boy, I’m headed to the store, does he eat ________?” Remember maybe her mother taught this behavior. Ignorance is not stupidity and should not be judged the same!! You do not know to look for what you do not know. Reclaim the village. There is a skill that only you have; your fingerprint for the community. Try using that skill to teach the woman next door to read. Have you ever taken the time to look at literacy rates in Arkansas? Hear me when I say I am not equating being a single mother to ignorance or illiteracy! I am asking you to curb your judgment. Acknowledge that her struggle is your struggle. What if her fingerprint for the community is never discovered? She never had a sitter, so on the day that she would have run into the person that would flip on the light bulb never happens. It now takes longer for a cure for cancer because someone told her “you need to leave college to support that baby”. Her struggle is your struggle. My fight is your fight.
I am blessed. I am an unwed mother and I have the most amazing support system. The word support seems to be used nowadays to be synonymous with “responsible for”. It is not. An example of support is a building already standing then comes into contact with pressure and begins to lean and a beam or *insert sturdy apparatus here* is then used to lift and stabilize. Let’s lift and stabilize each other.
I am not now, nor will I ever be ONLY defined by my womb. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a mate, a church member, a writer, a student, a budding philosopher, an artist, a worshiper, a reader and so much more. I am not ONLY my womb.