It was the first day of school for our district and many colleges across Texas. My middle granddaughter, Olivia, attended her first day of public school kindergarten. Looking so much like her daddy, her first day pictures show an excited little blonde, backpack ready girl who was going to have a wonderful day meeting new friends and loving her teacher. Olivia is a lover of people, a doer of something all the time, a reader, bike rider, gymnast, funny, sweet child and a friend. She is very intelligent and as a friend of mine once said, "I am not bias at all. I am a professional". After 30 years teaching, 3 years substitute teaching and a tester for the advanced placement team these past 7 years, I do consider myself an expert on the subject of intelligent 5 year olds. Olivia's command of words stands out as she uses words above the normal 5 year old vocabulary. My stamp of approval on a smart little girl with a bright future goes to Olivia Kathryn Martin with no bias whatsoever.
Our oldest grandchild, Aidan, began 7th grade yesterday. He has grown taller this year, confident in his abilities and has the most handsome smile. (Okay, that may be a grandmother bias.) I looked at his first day picture on Facebook with pride as I saw my soon to be teenage grandson. At 12 years old, he has ditched the traditional backpack for a more sophisticated messenger bag. He stands straight appearing calm, ready to take on the middle school life with cool breezy ability. Aidan also enjoys wearing a small brimmed hat and pushed up sleeves as he hones his trumpet player fashion style. I like that about Aidan. He has a way of hanging unassumingly slightly under the radar, going about in his own unique way. Though he didn't have his trumpet in the picture, he'll be carrying it to school each day, blasting out musical notes in band. Perhaps we see a future jazz musician in Aidan. He also plays soccer stretching those long legs to the goal, kicking the ball in to score with the cool and calm of a pro. Appearing very skilled and confident on the field he doesn't ever appear rattled in a soccer game, only focused. He enjoys soccer banter with his dad about the professional soccer teams they follow. The Martin Family all share a love for our home town baseball team, the Houston Astros. Aidan, an avid fan, has memorized facts I could never remember about the players and the game. He is an intelligent individual who excels not only in sports and music, but also in academics. Aidan is tenderhearted and loves his family very much. He and his sister, Regan, have a sibling closeness that will last a lifetime.It is my pleasure to observe Aidan and all that he will accomplish. Aidan Kelly Martin will excel at whatever he chooses to do in this life. I know this because as I mentioned above, I am a professional.
Next, our granddaughter, Regan has graced us with her presence for one decade now. At a mere 10 years old, our slim brunette beauty displays a bubbly, interesting personality that everyone loves. Our talented young girl who starts 5th grade this year, loves to dance, sing, do gymnastics and have fun. From the time she was a toddler with a paci in her mouth, Regan has smiled at a pretty shoe. Her cute sense of style makes her all the more adorable. I love her artsy side too because we can share arts and craft time when she visits, painting, drawing and cutting up creatively. As a kindergartener, Regan was tested for the Gifted and Talented program. She's a smart confident little girl and got into the program. With a flare for the dramatic, Regan has appeared in at least three musicals. When one director asked if she could turn cartwheels across the stage and without hesitation she flipped across a long stage in front of full audiences. Regan sings with her school honor choir and loves being part of a group. She excitedly explained to me through Facetime, that her choir teacher this year announced an opportunity to audition for a big chorus who would perform in San Antonio should they make the cut. We are pulling for our Regan to make the chorus. Regan loves adventure and takes it on with the zeal of an explorer out to discover a new world. Regan Karina Martin is a problem solver, friend, singer and intelligent individual. I know because, as you've read, I am a professional. As a 5th grader, Regan will lead and be an exemplary role model to the younger kids in her school.
Lastly, the youngest of the Martin grands, at 2 years old, did not start school, but returned to her babysitter. She is, nonetheless, as smart and outgoing as the rest of our grandchildren with a uniqueness of her own. Penelope Louise Martin is simply waiting her turn and taking it all in, learning as she goes. Recently we were in Abilene for a visit and I had the privilege to have some alone time outside with our Penny Lou. She enjoys swinging in their backyard and I pushed her as we sang together, "...seesaw, Margery doll, Seesaw, Margery doll." Back and forth she went on reciting the nursery rhyme to the exact tune I sang, matching tones and words. I do believe Penelope will be a singer and musician one day. She exhibits some mean 2 year old technology skills navigating an iPad. Her ability to think for herself is evident when watching her complete puzzles, play games and stand her ground on what she does not want to do or eat. We witness her love for her sister as she calls "EE-ah'! Short for "Olivia". Penelope doesn't give her love way for free. One has to prove worthy of her affection, but once earned, she'll return again and again delighting her recipients. Our hearts swelled when we heard Penelope call to us, "Daddy" for "Big Daddy" or "Mama" for "Mama Lou". We'll take it and know the rest of our names will come through in time. Penelope Louise Martin has learned so much in the brief 2 years she has been on this earth. I expect by the time we see her next, she will have learned much more because she exhibits high intelligence. Of course, I should know because as an unbias grandmother, I am also a professional.