Friends:

It’s been a few weeks since last we spoke and I was prepared to wait yet another week before contacting you again, simply because of how depressed I am. It is very difficult to be creative or even conversant when depression rears its ugly head. And every year at this time, I reach the lowest of the lows…

My favorite time of the year has always been summer. I know so many people who will disagree with me, who will claim that the heat is unbearable, that Thanksgiving through the New Year is the best time of year, or that the changing of the seasons in September and October is the most wonderful, or that springtime, with its blossoming nature and temperate climes is optimal. But summer has always been my favorite.

Perhaps it is because some of my fondest memories are of summer escapades—family vacations, summer camp, Dodgers baseball and swimming in the pool. No school, longer days, barbecues and the smell of charcoal and reruns on television. My most favorite time of year.

When my wife and I were planning our wedding we selected the
second week in August as the perfect time, figuring that if we wanted to take vacations for our anniversary it wouldn’t conflict with school and the weather would usually be ideal. It is now August 11, one day after our 11th anniversary, and where did we go for our anniversary? Nowhere at all. Why? Because school starts on Wednesday.

Yep, summer vacation, which seems to take longer and longer to show up, is over in less than the blink of an eye.

Growing up we got near on 3 months of vacation—now, a mere 8 weeks. By the time summer vacation is in full swing, it is time to do back-to-school shopping.

For a while, I forgot what summer vacation was. In college
I did a few summer schools; in law school, after the second year, it was time to find a job. After that, the summertime is no different than the wintertime or springtime. It’s just another season stuck indoors working.

But when you have children and they start school, summer takes on a renewed importance. Think only the kids are looking forward to summer break? Think again. Summer break means no more stress of getting the kids to school on time or doing homework or deadlines for school projects or open house or studying for tests. Parents enjoy summer break just as much as the kids, if not more so. During the summer I feel that I have a lighter mood, I am less stressed out, I am smiling more often and enjoying life, smelling the roses and tasting the lemonade. I stay up later, I sleep in a little bit longer, I just generally feel better and happier.

And yet just like that (snap), it’s over. I don’t care what the weathermen say (except for Mark Thompson, of course—he rocks), once school starts, summer is officially over. The sun just doesn’t seem to shine as bright, the roses just don’t smell as good, and my smile just isn’t as large.

So, my friends, I am depressed. Depressed that summer is over; depressed that my kids have to go back to school; depressed that with each summer that passes it means that my kids grow another year older; depressed that for however fantastic the summer break may have been, it would’ve been more fantastic if only we’d had a little bit more time.

And the counting begins again, counting down until summer break next year, when we start this all up again.
Enjoy the rest of your summer for however long it is. In my mind, it’s already fall, I am pulling out my sweaters, I am feeling a slight chill in my bones and I am trying to figure out a Halloween costume.

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