“Don’t cry because it’s over. SMILE because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
To say I never thought I’d be living outside the US, much less in the Caribbean with its beautiful waters and year-round warm weather, is an understatement. I grew up in a small town that I never dreamed I’d leave. I had a small group of great friends that I could always count on. I couldn’t step outside my house without seeing at least one person I knew very well. I liked it that way. I knew people, they knew me; we all knew the values that the other stood for. It was all I had ever known. It was easy.
Then a girl named Rachel (the daughter of a friend of mine) packed her bags and moved to San Diego. She’d only been there once but was brave enough to say, “Hey, I’d like to live here. I think I will.” I remember the day her mom told me that she was leaving. There was such a sense of pride in her voice that she’d raised such a strong-willed daughter who was brave enough to move all the way across the country…alone…in her early twenties. I was proud of her as well as I had known her for almost half of her life and had seen her go through the struggles of adolescence and come out the other side just as bold as she’d ever been but also had become a kind and mature adult. I was a little jealous too. I thought of my own experiences at that age and wished that I had been brave enough to do what she was doing. I started to feel like I had missed my opportunity to step outside the bubble of small town living. Continue reading “It’s never easy to say goodbye”
At this point you may be wondering why my blog is called Living the Life of Kylie. Well, one of the reasons we decided to embark on this adventure is our three-year old daughter. We wanted to give her the opportunity for a true world experience; to expose her to different cultures, languages, traditions, etc. Being a “hick from the sticks” myself, I know how self-conscious it can make you to walk into a room full of intellectuals from other countries and feel like you don’t belong there. I don’t want that for my girl. I want her to feel confident to go anywhere and know that she belongs there as much as anyone else.
When we returned to Saint Kitts after importing the dogs, we enrolled Kylie in the Ross University Preparatory School that is located on the campus of RUSVM. With a multi-cultural population, there are so many opportunities for Kylie to gain experience from children her own age. She has children in her class from Scotland, Romania, Saint Kitts and the US. Some of them speak multiple languages. There are children in other classes from all over the world.
Her class is the Preschool 2 level which includes 3 and 4 year olds. They have Spanish lessons at least once a week and IT classes twice a week in addition to PE and other social skills activities. One of her teachers also teaches them American Sign Language.
I’ve been so impressed with the older children as well as they tend to take the younger ones under their wing and show them the ropes. Since there are several opportunities throughout the day for them to interact with other grade levels, Kylie has really surprised me with how quickly she has joined in. At first she was more relaxed around the older kids than she was in her own class. We still have the occasional moment where she clings to me but normally she’s off and running and ready to join her friends. It’s a welcome change. I’m sure some of that is coming with maturity too.
Another opportunity that I’m particularly excited about is the chance for her to study music involving different instruments. She’s always loved music and often makes up her own songs. Ever since she saw the first episode of Little Einsteins, she has been begging for a violin and a piano. She also loves to hear drums and is constantly drumming on things around the house. While we’re still looking for a violin instructor, we think we may have found a drum teacher for her and there is a piano teacher at the school also. This is her first time sitting down at a drum set (proud moment for momma even if it doesn’t sound like much to the outside world):