My family really enjoys living in Chicago. This is a great city with a lot to offer. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life, which is a funny feeling. It sure seems that we’re establishing roots here.
But living in Chicago—especially when you’re raising a family—isn’t always easy. Costs of living are high. The school system is complicated and convoluted. For all of the benefits of a big city there are also the inconveniences, challenges, and dangers.
With a second child due in December and our first getting closer to school age, we have been looking for a bigger home in a neighborhood with a good public elementary school. It would be a lot easier to move to a suburb. But we’re committed to staying in the city. In particular, as a pastor working with youth and families in a downtown church, I feel that I ought to be raising my family in the city too.
For as long as I’ve lived in Chicago, my neighborhood has been Hyde Park. I love the neighborhood feel, the university and seminaries, and the diversity of the South Side. I’m sorry that our quest for a good school is leading us to primarily North Side neighborhood. I’ll be happy to be closer to church and most of our friends, but I’ll miss the diversity our children would be exposed to on the South Side.
I wish Chicago wasn’t so segregated. I wish that we didn’t feel like we need to move to a less diverse and more expensive neighborhood in order for our children to attend a good public school. I wish I didn’t feel like we are contributing to the problems by making good decisions for our family, decisions we are privileged to make while other families are not.