Our first-born child, Patrick is quite the character. Stubborn from before he was born (I was induced the morning of Fred's BD, but he was finally dragged kicking and screaming into this world by c-section the next day -- guess he wanted his own birthday), he could debate the hind-end off a mule. Many's the day that Fred and I were left scratching our heads in wonder, not knowing why parenting this kid was so trying. It didn't work for us to go by the books, suggestions from friends and family, our guts or our hearts. We pretty much had to throw out all the rules and wing it. Though we've come a long way and have learned a thing or three, he sure keeps us on our toes.
In the past, he's dabbled in wrestling, soccer, karate, and even dog agility (with our awesome Aussie Blue), but these days he's content hanging out with his friends playing x-box, listening to music, or watching some of his favorite shows or movies. When he's not ridding the world of evil zombies, he enjoys wrestling with his sibs, paint-ball in our field, or tetherball, BB, riding his bike or his Ripstick in our driveway. Just between you and me, he also enjoys reading and chess.
He could get straight As in his sleep if he would buck up and consistently do his homework, but since that's not his thing, Fred and I are left singing the "...you can enjoy these privileges if ..." song (any other parents of teenagers know that tune?).
He's a great kid, though. Always willing to help a sibling with homework, very giving, bright as they come, sharp wit, full of vim and vigor. I've yet to see his eyes without their sparkle and he's always ready with his next wisecrack. There are times I try not to laugh, wanting to get my point across with a stern look on my face, but he breaks me down and I'm left giggling helplessly.
I've heard that you don't learn as much about yourself from your "easy" kids as you do from your "difficult" ones. If that's true, I've learned more about myself from Patrick than I ever cared to know! But I can't imagine life without him. He changed my world completely, and he is a young man whose life I feel blessed to be a part of.