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Saturday, December 6, 2014

why i love florida

Growing up stays with us. It seems like childhood is always our frame of reference for much of our lives, and we measure other experiences according to the norm of our childhood. This goes for customs, surroundings, smells, and culture. I know the smell and feel of a Maryland Fall day, the barrenness of winter, the feel of our ocean condo and the beach in the early evening when we were all cleaned up from the salt water. These are all part of me now, and I love them.

If you asked me five years ago whether I saw Florida in our future, I would have definitely said NO. But as the saying goes, some doors were closed and a window that was Miami was opened and we took the leap of Faith. And those of you who have read this for over a year know how much Miami will be in my heart. But we weren't meant to be for forever.

So here we are on the West Coast, and I have had time to reflect about my own kids and what their childhood is like. I used to lament that they wouldn't remember or for the youngest ones, know what a snow day was. They wouldn't smell Fall and feel the change of Seasons. They wouldn't know the Mall ( which is the place where all of the monuments are in DC) and the grandeur of our Capitol City each Christmas.

But they have seen an armadillo in our backyard. Instead of a million squirrels, they can catch lizards and make them their pets. Instead of robins, bluejays are the norm, and dolphins are their deer. They swim all winter; they go to the beach whenever we feel the whim. Nature is a part of you down here. I see them commune with it. A tangible manifestation of this was when we visited my parents last Christmas and a bird got into the house. The frightened bird found friends in them and proceeded to let ALL THREE of them hold it in their palms without flinching or flying away.

And what about the seasons? The other day, just as I was feeling a bit remorseful over the kids not experiencing Fall, my daughter turned to me after taking a break from swimming and said, "Mom, it's Fall! I can smell it!" Their childhood will be it's own thing, just as their lives will be.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

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