That went by quickly.

I realize the school bells have not rung yet, but they will soon, very soon.

When I was going to school, I remember the debate was whether the first day of school should be pushed back until after Labor Day.

Some thought there was no reason to start school before the holiday because school started the last week in August.

Today, schools are in session nearly three weeks before they get the day off.

When I was in elementary school, the novelty of school starting ended right after I got my new school clothes and supplies.

When the day came that I could no longer sleep in, I was ready to return everything just for another couple hours in bed.

Little did I know how great I had it.

No other time in my life did I get three months off to sleep as late as I wanted and then do whatever I wanted the rest of the day.

Once you join the work force, you're happy to get a week or two off.

But when you're a kid, and your summer is coming to an end, being told how great the schools days are does not make them feel better.

I know because my mom used to tell me that when I came home complaining about homework.

It's not that I would want to go back to school, but having nothing to worry about but schoolwork with a three-month vacation was a pretty good gig.

What kids don't realize because they don't think about it, is that teachers and administrators also need a break.

I never even thought about what teachers did away from the classroom. I rarely saw them outside the classroom.

My own kids are looking forward to heading back to school for reasons that have little to do with education.

Both are ready to be living on their own.

Claire has spent time at home this summer because she works at the newspaper with me, but her boyfriend and other friends all live out of town, so she spent a lot of time driving this summer.

Alek is moving out of the dorm and into his first house, which he'll be sharing with three other guys.

That's why I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking about the movie "Animal House."

He's also looking forward to living on his own after spending the summer working out of town and living at a friend's house.

As each year goes by, I get more used to not having kids around, something I considered odd and a little lonely just a year ago when Alek started college.

Claire will be a senior this year, and Alek a sophomore.

As life continues to fly by, it won't be long before they are missing the annual three-month vacation and a life when the biggest worry is the next day's test.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former managing editor of The Telegram