Our second son is Aaron Martin. Aaron is 10 years old, and will be 11 very soon. Actually if you sit down and talk with Aaron or watch him for a while you would probably agree with me that Aaron is 10, going on 30. Aaron, or AJ as I call him is a very intelligent kid. In some ways I would almost say that he is too intelligent for his own good. When we lived in the States and AJ was only 2 years old, you could go buy him a set of Lego that was intended for 12 to 14 year olds, and he could open the box and build anything shown on the box with no assistance. If you bought any new software for his computer and gave it to him, he had no trouble installing it on his PC at the age of 2 either.
When we moved to the Philippines, AJ was just 3 years old, almost 4. When a kid is that age, making such a move is a lot less traumatic, because they are still so young that they don’t have nearly the ties that older kids and adults have to a particular place. AJ was no exception to that. When we moved here, AJ immediately blended in and picked up right where he was when we left the States. Actually, with AJ being a very curious kid, he saw a lot of new things here that he was not used to, and I think that spurred on his curiosity even more.
AJ is the type of kid that when he was 4 or 5, he would sneak into our bedroom, get all of Feyma’s bottles of perfume out and start mixing them, just to see what would happen, or what new fragrances he could make! When he was finished, he would just dump them down the toilet! I can remember several times when Feyma lost some very expensive perfumes to AJ’s curiosity. But, that’s just AJ, and we never really got too mad at him, because it’s just his curious nature.
When we first moved here, Aaron was very shy. Going to school was something that was hard for him. When he first started attending school here, he didn’t speak at the school for almost 6 months! And, that was at a rather small school in General Santos. I don’t think there were more than a dozen kids in his class at that time. When we moved to Davao City, AJ was enrolled at Ateneo. Ateneo de Davao has a total of over 14,000 students! So, at first, it scared AJ deeply. But, he is now in the 5th grade at Ateneo, and he loves it there, and is well adjusted. Right now, Aaron’s goal is that he wants to attend High School at Philippine Science High School. PSci as it is called is a very exclusive school, and it is not easy to get accepted to study there. The grades of the student from the 5th grade are the most important in evaluating their eligibility to study at PSci. So, this year, it is AJ’s goal to do very well in his studies so that he can apply for PSci next August (2008) and try to get in. We took AJ on a tour at PSci earlier this year, and he was so impressed. AJ is particularly interested in Science and Math, and those are the core curriculum at PSci.
Like his brother Chris, AJ picked up the Cebuano language very quickly when we moved here. In school, he has to study Tagalog, and that is his hardest subject. He still does very well in Tagalog, though, usually getting a score of about 85% or so. His teachers tell us that for a Fil-Am that is very good.
A lot of my employees and extended family call AJ “Bob Jr.” because he is so much like me, and looks like me too. AJ and I are very close, and always have been. He also reminds me a lot of my sister, who died when she was 15 years old. I guess that makes our bond even stronger.
Both Feyma and I expect that when AJ is ready for college, he may well decide to go back to the States. He is very happy here, but he talks a lot about the USA, and going back there. It’s not that he doesn’t like it here, he just has something in him that calls him back, I guess. If the goes back, that’s OK with me, because I want what is best for him. I do feel that living here will benefit him in life, because it will make him more culturally rounded, having experienced both the US and Philippine cultures.
AJ is a good kid, and very kind hearted! AJ is really close to my heart, and I am so proud to call him my son!