The other day I went outside to meditate earlier in the morning than usual, around 6am, and I could hear alligators in the retention pond behind my house.  Not only could I hear alligators but I could hear all kinds of wildlife.  I live almost in the green swamp of Florida on the edge of the country.  I’m in an older subdivision that has bigger lots, I’m on .7 acres.  Across the street from my subdivision is Groveland and the country.  Across the street from my house is a huge empty lot with a forest.  Behind my house are two retention ponds.  One is unkept and all I see is brush and the other is brush when it’s full but lately it dried up and my neighbor mows it.  Needless to say, there is all kinds of wildlife around me.  When we first moved in there were wild boar 2 different times running around in the retention pond area.  Most of the time there are no gators or maybe I just never knew what they sounded like before.  I hear birds, frogs, gators, bugs and a whole symphony of wildlife.  It was part of the reason we bought this house.  We wanted privacy, land and to be close to nature.  After coming from Chicago and city living, we wanted fresh air and some space to create a mini permaculture garden.  I never saw any alligators but I know they are in there, I can hear them.  It’s interesting to close your eyes and listen to how the sounds bounce around from different directions.  I think they are talking to each other.  I wonder what they are saying.  Obviously they understand each other somehow.  I love it but it’s also scary. 

I have 2 small children and I don’t want them going back there.  Whenever I take them to Lake Cresent, the lake attached to my subdivision, I am careful to teach them the sounds of the alligators and to stay away from the grass.  My son is more cautious and my daughter is fearless.  They made a mini beach in my subdivision and my daughter likes to find little clam shells.  If she gets too close to the brush then I have to call her away many times.  I wish she would just listen the first time.  She has changed a little since school started.  She just finished kindergarten which is full time school.  She gets jealous of her little brother who has 1/2 day pre-school.  She craves my attention and she argues with me more.  I’m happy that it is summer break because I need to spend some serious fun time with her.  I want to make sure she is getting all the love and attention she needs.  I notice when both of my kids are happier then they are much easier for me to handle.  They fight less, they play nicer and they smile more.  I want my kids to be happy.  

My daughter is like a natural athlete at only 6, lol!  It sounds crazy but she really is.  She climbs everything and always has ever since she was a baby.  She was impossible to keep in her crib when she was a baby because at 15 months she started climbing out.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was afraid she would fall.  In gymnastics she already has a level 1 bar routine.  She loves the bars.  Her gymnastics club wanted to move her up to pre-team which is 3 hours 2 times a week.  I asked her if she wants to move up and she resists.  She always complains about going but when she gets there she loves it.  I’m confused.  I never moved her up because she said no she didn’t want to do it and I don’t want to push too hard.  I want her to want it.  I want her to be a kid first.  I keep her in only 1 hour 1 day a week.  At the playground she is a master at the monkey bars and we created a whole parkour routine for her.  She is absolutely amazing and fast!

Now that it’s summer I was going to put her into gymnastics camp for a month but I may only put her in for a week.  I asked her if she wants gymnastics camp or art camp and she choose art camp.  Art camp is only 1/2 days and gymnastics day is all day.  I want to spend time with her this summer and have some downtime where we don’t always have to wake up early in the morning.  The early morning school trips wears you down.  Next year my son goes to the same school as my daughter, thank god!  They also both start at 8:30am.  This is awesome because my son’s preschool was at East Ridge High School, across town in their early childhood eduction department and it started at 7:50.  Then I would have to take my daughter to Pine Ridge next to my house.  Honestly, it was a pain in the ass.  Then I would have to pick up my son at 11:30 and my daughter at 3pm.  I spent a huge chuck of my life last year just driving kids around.  I’m excited to get that time back this summer.  I’m excited to have my two kids who are different ages to spend more time together too.  It’s kind of weird that when you are in school you only hang out with kids your age.  I like it when they are all mixed together and the little kids learn from the big kids.  

My mom who lives with me now, loves the kids.  She has been a huge help.  She helps me with grocery shopping, doing laundry, making lunches, reading stories, bath times and most importantly grandma hugs when they cry.  I fought with my mom my whole life and it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve began to have the kind of relationship that I always wanted with my mom.  I only wish her health was better.  I wish she would eat better and take better care of herself. 

I really hate going to the doctor as much as she goes.  She is in there every week and now sees a physical therapist everyday.  I’m glad she takes care of herself but this is nutty.  She has been in the ER at least 6 times within the past 5 months.  She has seen all of the following doctors within the past 5 months, many times: a neurologist, a urologist, a gastroenterologist, a nephrologist, a dentist, a physical therapist, a family doctor and a separate stoma doctor.  I’m sure there will be more.  I sometimes wonder if she just likes to socialize with doctors and that is why she likes to go so much.  Who knows but it seems crazy to me that someone who sees so many doctors suffers so much.  I am the opposite and only go to the doctor is I’m really sick. 

Anyway, beautiful people, it is Memorial Day weekend and I am subbing a lot of yoga classes this weekend.  On Monday I plan to see my dad in Tampa, 2 hours away.  I am dreading the dive but it has been a long time since my mom saw my dad and she can’t drive that far anymore.  It’s too dangerous for her.  It sucks because we go there and back in the same day.  It’s over 4 hours of driving and I have to bring my kids sometimes too.  They cry and hate it.  I’ll be happy once I finally move my dad to an Assisted Care facility in Clermont so I don’t have to drive anymore.  I’ll also be happy to see my dad more.  He might be able to come home for visits. 

Later today I’m going wake surfing!  Yay!!!!  Clermont is beautiful with super pretty lakes.  We have a client at the yoga studio who invited the yoga teachers and families to celebrate the holiday at their lake house.  I wonder if my daughter can get up on a wake board if I take her.  Overall, I am very bless and very much looking forward to the summer.  As I type right now, the air is cool and the heat hasn’t come yet.  It is so pleasant to sit outside and type and listen to the sounds of nature.  I love it here.  It took me two years to adjust but now I don’t want to leave.  I have so many awesome friends and I love the yoga studio that I teach at.  I can live without the alligators but then again, they are a part of nature.  Nature teaches us many lessons.  What can I learn from the alligators besides fear?  What are these creatures really like?  Peace out my friends.  Happy Memorial Day weekend!