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A journalist friend of mine contacted me recently asking me to write something about the meaning of the word 'parent'.

In my momentary laziness, I go to see what it says first of all the vocabulary, with the hope of finding the light and go beyond the ordinary.


In the Thesaurus Online Dictionary, under the word 'parent' there is an inescapable: who generates or has generated, father or mother.

And that's all.

Not even a foot-note for those who had children through adoption (for one thing...).

I didn’t want to give up.

I consulted the Online Italian Dictionary by Hoepli, deferring all to the authority of this major secular publishing house.

Under the word 'parent' I found again 'who generates or has generated, father or mother.'

Then to make matters worse, the baseball-bat-on-the-teeth: 'God the creator'.

And here my sphincter collapsed.

I mean, again a hard-as-nails declaration that if you're not breeding, you cannot call yourself a 'parent'.

They also decided to throw in God, for good measure, as ‘parent par excellence’ ( What excellence? He really is not my dad because if He was, He would’ve given in to my incessant demands and would have already struck down Pope Ratzinger....). Maybe He is not one to spoil his kids.

Only in an Italian Dictionary you find this rubbish.

I wonder if under the word 'cuckold' they have have put that poor St. Joseph, who finds himself being a father without even knowing how it happened.

Then he was made a saint to give him a little perk and put a theologic patch on the fact that his eldest son was not actually his ...

To make matters worse, Jesus didn’t exactly tried to keep his mouth shut about it....

"My father's not that carpenter over there.... He is the creator of the universe!! "

No respect for that poor man, breaking his back to make tables, chairs and the occasional yacht-decking to get two rags on his son’s back.

Oh well.

Furthermore, he marries a virgin and then he doesn’t even get with the privilege of.... Well ..... You got my meaning.

Does this sound right to you?

However, we are stuck with the fact that the word 'parent' comes from the Latin 'pario' , or 'generate, procreate' and thus contribute to the 'genus', or family, the extended group of people related by blood kinship.

There’s no escape.

If you have not bonked with your wives causing their pregnancy, you're not parents.

Go ahead, be my guest and call yourselves caretaker, manager, guardian, chauffeur, assistant, secretary, inspiring educator, caterer, comforter, or even exhorter, entertainer and a psychologist, but not parent.


Synonyms for 'parent'? And here I want you ..... Well .... There are none.

Full stop.

Let’s set aside the dictionary that does not help us at all and let’s try to find another description.

I rely on Wikipedia, online encyclopedia that contains the whole of human knowledge.


The under the definition of 'parent' I find everything that has happened in the last 2,011 years of human history.

I find to be regarded as parents, not just the biological ones, but also those who adopted, those to whom the child was given and everyone else, married or not, gay and straight, single and coupled . Everyone that has to deal with a little boy to raise.

Definitely a lot better.

You know, for some people, the definition of a term will always be the one that they read in the vocabulary, as much as the absolute truth is the one that they find on TV or worse in the Bible (go and make them explain how it is possible that the entire human race has developed from Adam and Eve, as the first offspring they had was two males!!! I hate to think about the only viable option ..... Then let’s go and bomb Sodom and Gomorrah... Please.).

But it is comforting to know that somewhere we are also regarded as parents, even if we like to dress and put make up on our women, rather than impregnate them traditionally.....

After all, for a child, his parents are the ones that are always beside him with love and constancy, not those in the dictionary.

They are the ones who make the sacrifices, that go beyond the obstacles, that go against and challenge the world for the sake of their child.

Those who worry without being noticed, those who love unconditionally, who put their lives on 'pause' indefinitely.

Maybe they are not married, they are not biologically related to the little one, or are two persons of the same sex.

There are still parents and their baby has the sacred and inalienable right to be proud of them, to be proud of its world, of his personal history.

And I know that I’m stating the obvious, but believe me, a lot of people out there think that a parent is who generates children.

There are a lot of them.

Like anything else, what each family builds with such care and good will, society tends to destroy in its stupid desire for uniformity.

But uniformity does not belong to any living creature, only to the institutions created by man.

Fortunately, family is not one of these institutions, as much as they would like it to be, because it transcends all the sacraments, all ages, all religions and philosophies. Just as much as love does.

Wanting to enclose it within the rigors of politics and morals, is a bit like clipping off its wings.

‘Parent', first and foremost is synonymous of love, not biology.

If only biological capacity to procreate was enough to call someone a parent, then we might be even call one this bitch.

To have her in my category it’s way more offensive to me than it would ever be for her to have me, a gay dad, in hers...

Trust me.



Holly G said...

A beautiful post, as per the usual. The section about god made my eyes roll a bit too. So apparently, even though I am a biological contributor to my children's existence, it still doesn't count because I'm an atheist? Perfect. lol

I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!