I was just in the bathroom (with my pass key of course) thinking about all the little, minor key, dreams I have for my kids. Not the big dreams, like Pulitzer prizes, happy marriages, self-actualization and the like. The little ones that I have never really articulated. Most of these wishes come from (1) things I wish I had myself or (2) things I had, deeply loved, and hope my kids to do.
1. I hope my kids adore the colleges they go to. This is not the same as hoping they go to college and succeed academically and socially. This is about their subjective experience of falling in love with their institutions and having school spirit. I hope they love their school colors, and their school's mission statement, and I hope they wear pajamas with their school logos on them for years after they graduate. I hope they send money to support their schools when they are gone. I hope they revel in school rivalry and experience pride and loyalty to their schools, but not in a creepy, Notre Dame, sort of way. I just hope they want me to put their schools' bumper stickers on my mini-van. I hope they want Jeff to wear a hat that identifies him as a dad of a scholar who attends their school. This is a wish born out of my utter lack of any shred of school spirit for any school I went to. Maybe for me it was a mascot thing. It's hard for me to get behind a mascot I don't understand: the Aggie, the Maroon, the Rambler. I don't have the foggiest idea what an Aggie or a Maroon is. I don't feel any somatic pangs when I hear my schools'name on the news or when something good happens to them. I had three chances and never once did the spark of school spirit catch fire. I have always envied those Duke and USC and Ohio State grads who were as enamored with their schools as their lovers. I could not identify one bit. I want my kids to have a piece of that joy and attachment. (Just not Notre Dame. Mommy's bitter.)
I know there are many more. Stay tuned.