A fitting end to a new beginning

My summer vacation has come to an end. Today I return to the school that has been my home for the last 19 years.

These last few days of summer have been excellent, and they have served as a reminder about how important my school is to me.

How important the people who I met inside those brick walls have become to me. 

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A couple days ago we visited Old Sturbridge Village with a former colleague and his family.

He is also Clara's godfather.

Two nights ago we went out to dinner and a movie, leaving our children in the care of a former student. In between dinner and the movie, we popped into a Barnes & Noble, where I bought gifts for a two colleagues who I am proud to call my friends.  

Yesterday morning, I played golf with my former principal and the father of former students.

He is also Charlie's godfather.

Actually, my former principal is also the father of a former student.   

All of these people are dear friends. My closest friends. Some of the best friends I have ever had. 

And then of course there is Elysha, my wife, best friend, and love of my life, who I fell in love with while teaching one door down from her classroom. 

When asked if I am excited about returning to work after a summer off, I often say, "I love my job beyond measure. But honestly, I love vacation a little more."

It's true. If given the choice, I would take another week (or month) off to spend time with my family and friends. Write. Read. Golf. Play superheroes with my kids.

But if I must work, I can't imagine a better place.

Last night, Elysha and I learned that one of our former students is serving in the Navy. She's stationed in Norfolk, VA. A young lady who didn't have the easiest path in life is now serving our country with distinction. 

Summer vacation is now over, and a part of me longs for a few more days. This morning, before our school district's convocation, I'll play nine holes of sunrise golf. It's become a tradition. My attempt to suck the last bit of marrow from the summer.

After convocation, I'll walk to the edge of the high school parking lot and hop over a small, white fence onto the local public golf course where I play all summer. There's a par-3 adjacent to the parking lot. I'll take two or three clubs over and play that hole a few times.

The very last bit of summer.

Then I'm off to prepare for my incoming students. Say hello to colleagues who I haven't seen in two months. Meet new faces. Some may become close friends. Trusted confidants. Best friends, perhaps.  

Maybe I'll even find a new golfing partner.