Tonight I asked my mother a seemingly normal question. It's one that my friends and I, free of responsibilities of mortgages and children, ask each other frequently. "What did you want your children to be?"
I dream of my kids in a very specific way. I hope that my girls are interested in computer science, and that we enroll in beauty pageants in high school to feign well-roundedness for ivy-league applications. I want them to go to a top 25 school, to be embarrassed that I send them too many care packages. I want my sons to be SigEps, my daughters to be ballerinas, and everyone to be so blissfully unaware of their privilege that I build a white picket fence to laugh at.
When I asked my Mom, I had hoped that she would say something similar But, after a pause, she replied, "I just wanted you to finish high school. Everything else seems like too much to hope for a child."
It reminded me that in my hometown and community: high school is the end point. Why dream beyond that point? Why wish for anything other than a homecoming crown and a Best Dressed Senior Superlative? If our region and my hometown ever want to grow, we need to have higher expectations for ourselves and others.