This afternoon I was delighted to find a photo album posted online by one of my nieces. The album contains many wonderful photos of my grandparents over the years - from their childhood all the way until the end when they were in their 90’s. What struck me was how they absolutely embodied the American dream. They lived their life surrounded by a loving family, in a house in the suburbs that they owned. My “Pop Pop” proudly served as a Merchant Marine during WWII while my “Mom Mom” held down the fort at home, caring for two little ones on her own. She worked outside the home helping with the war effort, and then went back to being a full-time mom when Pop Pop returned. They both volunteered in their community and taught all of us to do the same. Our lives were (and still are) full of fun and laughter, caring and tears, and a strong commitment to each other. Through hard work and careful planning, Mom Mom and Pop Pop were able to do everything they dreamed of doing. They traveled to many places, including their beloved Hawaii. They had a house at the Jersey Shore, and eventually a condo in Florida. There were many wonderful adventures throughout their many years. They had enough resources to spoil all six of us grandkids just a little bit. When our children, their great grandchildren, were growing up, they established a small college fund for each one. It wasn’t much in terms of dollars, but it spoke volumes of their commitment to their family and their understanding of the importance of education.
So, as I continue to hear all of the debate about schools, I can only think. We all just want the American dream for our kids. We want them to enjoy the rich, full life that my grandparents had. A good education makes the American dream possible - and I don’t think that’s too much to ask!