Mouse - he's our first baby. The one that introduced us to sleepless nights and learning to do everything one-handed. To sometimes saying No and flying by instinct and the seat of our pants. He taught us how to raise kids and it was a steep learning curve for us all.
Sometimes I wish I could go back and get things right with Mouse. We've made lots of mistakes along the way, refined our techniques with each subsequent kid. He's our testing ground, the one we stood firm with. By the time the 4th came along our standards had slipped a bit, I'm sure.
As the top of the heap he's picked up a few Big Brother traits, telling the younger ones what to do, taking charge of things like control of the telly, being parent in absentia when he thinks he can get away with it. He's also the one we can trust to remember what we've asked, be asked to keep an eye on things, to be a bit more responsible.
He has grown and blossomed this year. Learning to ice-skate and read, he's also started swimming and guitar lessons. A second grader now, he's getting used to homework, playground friendships and remembering to bring things home and to school without losing everything.
He's still a bit crazy and loves nothing better than to get all his siblings running around the house in some mad frenzy. He loves superheroes, dinosaurs and dragons, Lego and bits of treasure he finds out in the world and stuffs in his pockets. A total magpie.
He has selective hearing, like all school kids, and still attempts to push the boundaries, but overall he wants to please and tries to do well. He loves to explore how the world works and often dives in headfirst. He'll make a great scientist.
He's sensitive and loves quiet games as well. He often disappears into a corner of the house distant from the other Weans and can be found reading or playing with his small toys. He's loving and takes special care of his siblings, especially his baby sister.
We might have made some little mistakes along the way, but there's a lot we got right. Raising him and getting to watch him grow into an adventure-loving boy has been the best job of our lives. He's taught us so much.
And though he doesn't really like the nickname anymore, he'll always be my Mouse. Happy birthday, my first.