Shortly after Mother’s Day, I wrote that while some childfree folk wish to be acknowledged on that day (or on their own special day) for their caretaking or mentoring roles, I would prefer to remain invisible. I seek no day to make a fuss over whether or not I am a mother. In my own perfect world, I would love for all people to be celebrated for their accomplishments and contributions, with no concern about their reproductive status. Unfortunately, as we live in an imperfect world where people are still judged harshly for not replicating, a day may be warranted when we recognize those who did not need to procreate in order to make a positive impact on others.
On August 1, 1973, the National Organization for Non-Parents declared a “Non-Parents Day” to do just that. In recognition of Non-Parents Day, I would like to take a moment to honor one of my first non-parent role models: my high school theology teacher. She may have been given a “pass” because she was - and still is - unmarried (though it would not surprise me if she were subjected to marriage bingoes over the years), but I find that her lifestyle made her a strong, positive role model for young women especially. She was amazing in her own right, not needing a man or a child to make her complete, fulfilled, or accomplished. An excellent and knowledgeable teacher, she held us to high standards in the classroom and took on additional roles on campus to support us outside the classroom. She was able to finish a doctoral degree while teaching full-time, and I remember the excitement of us students at being able to call her “Doctor” instead of “Miss” (“miss” always seemed like such a silly title for someone of her age and experience). She continued teaching for several years after I graduated before heading to the mission field, where she may still be. I have somewhat lost track of her; she may be approaching retirement now, but I have a hard time imagining someone like her retiring!
Which non-parent in your life has earned your respect or made a positive impact on you?