Aaliyah Gaylord: ‘Life is good’

Charlie Denison

Aaliyah Gaylord, third grade, is enjoying her new school and new life in Grass Range.
Photo courtesy of Joe Gaylord

Aaliyah Gaylord, 9, is new to Grass Range, moving here with her mother, Krista (her teacher), her father, Joe (her principal) and her four siblings (Michael, 7, Khasia and Khaila, 5 and Chael, 2).

The Gaylord family arrived in Grass Range earlier this year from Marshall, Alaska, and Aaliyah “loves it.”

“It’s better than Alaska,” she said.

By “it,” Aaliyah is referring to school, people, environment, everything.

“And there is more for me to do here,” she said.

Aaliyah said her classmates are also better behaved here than in Alaska, which also helps make life easier for her mom and dad, as well.

“Kids didn’t do good things in Alaska,” Aaliyah said. “They were usually tardy. They’d have to wait in the principal’s office. I think they did it just to get out of math.”

Aaliyah said she wouldn’t do that.

“I was never tardy,” she said. “Unless I was sick. Plus, I like math. I like it because you can learn how to solve problems.”

Having her mom as a teacher and her dad as a principal, Aaliyah certainly makes it a point to stay out of trouble. She also wants to set a good example for her younger siblings. She tries to do this at home, often turning the other cheek when there is conflict.

“We get in fights sometimes, but when there is a fight going on and I’m not included, I just go to the kitchen and sit. If I am involved in the fight, I just try to get out of it.”

Aaliyah liked to keep to herself and do her own thing when she has the chance. She likes to play outside and hang out with Michael, but she often spends her time reading or drawing.

“I am reading ‘The War that Saved My Life,’ Aaliyah said. “It’s about a girl whose mom doesn’t like her. The girl has a clubfoot and has a hard time getting around. She wants to live in a different place. There is a war going on. I don’t know what kind of war it is, but there is some kind of war.”

Aaliyah said “reading is fun” and she reads “as many stories as she can.”

“I like adventure stories, but, really, I like reading any kind of book,” she said.

When not reading, playing or studying, Aaliyah is probably drawing.

“I want to be an artist,” she said. “My dad is a really good artist. He can draw anything. I’m pretty good, but not as good as my dad.”

As long as she has the inspiration, Aaliyah will draw, and inspiration comes to her all the time.

“I draw anything,” she said. “I look at something and, if it is something I like, I draw it. I love it because I get to be creative.”

Life is good, Aaliyah said, and she has very few complaints. The cold weather doesn’t even bother her.

“Winter weather is just fine with me,” she said. “I just don’t like wearing ski pants. I didn’t have to wear them today because we just had to walk across the street to go to the school. It wasn’t too cold.”

As the holidays approach, Aaliyah continues to be filled with excitement, happy about her new life in Grass Range.

“I’m excited about Christmas,” she said, “and I’m looking forward to starting a new year.”



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