Only Child

onlychild.jpgReader Erica from Northampton wrote in previously about a resource for parents who are set on raising one child. Today, she shares thoughts on Deborah Siegel and Daphne Uviller’s Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo:
“I recently finished reading Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo. The book is a compilation of essays written by 21 singletons (a bit lighter of a term than ‘onlies,’ as one of the writers notes...) representing varied life stages, backgrounds, and experiences. The threads of both uniqueness and commonality are interwoven throughout these beautifully written pieces. I found the essays to be very candid, sometimes funny, sometimes sad; overall, a real pleasure to read. Apparently single-child families are the fastest-growing family unit in America (and in most of industrialized western Europe), with approximately 15 million only children in the U.S. today. Some estimates reportedly state that one-third of Americans starting families now will have only one child, for myriad reasons, whether by choice or by fate. Needless to say, you do not have to be an ‘Only’ or be parenting one to enjoy this book. As the editors note, ‘Even though our criteria for contributors was that they be sibling-free, they ultimately invoked onliness as a prism through which to examine the human experience. As one contributor asks, isn't the only child simply the most exaggerated version of all of us, navigating life alone?’”