Oh, this is a painful post to write. It’s Monday night, Labor Day no less, and I will be up in six-and-a-half short hours to begin another school year–my 19th, in fact. And here a photo of the three men in my life, walking into the sunset, their backs to the camera. Could the photo be any more symbolic? Could my dread be any more pronounced? Don’t get me wrong . . . I love my job. Teaching is a calling I didn’t hear until my sophomore year in college; but once I did, there was no looking back. And I always approach each new school year with a renewed spirit, even optimism and enthusiasm–that same feeling you had as a kid when you got your crisp new notebooks and equally crisp new school clothes. However, as I attempt to bargain with the universe for just a few more days of vacation, I have to remind myself that it’s really not over. Summer is a state of mind. The weather will be beautiful for a month or more yet; and we have much to look forward to–autumn in New England, the holidays with friends and family. So, as we said goodbye to summer vacation tonight with a sunset picnic on the beach and a jaunt to Frosty Freez, I’m going to try not to say goodbye to the feeling of summer. I just hope I can remember this when my alarm goes off at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning!