Tender-Hearted Tommy Turns Ten Tomorrow!



My old dog, Maggie, had an aversion to flies, and really fast, snappy jaws. The man who left her with me told me her Indian name was “Death to Bugs”. My grandchildren got a kick out of that, and we’ve speculated over the years what our Native American names would be, based on our interests or personality.

I can’t remember what all the possibilities were. They were often funny, sometimes insulting, and now and then spot-on. If my grandson, Tommy, had a name based on his disposition, he would be called Tender-Heart.

When he was a baby, the youngest of four children, my daughter said something  to the effect that Tommy was finding  his  place in the  household by having the best nature of everyone in the family. She was right!

Tommy tries hard  to get along. He’s always got a smile; he’s always  ready with a hug.

His feelings get hurt easily, and he really cares about  the feelings  of others. Tommy hasn’t had his  growth spurt yet, so he’s often mistakenly thought to be younger than he is. Sometimes it results in him being talked down to or insulted. I’ve seen how he  deals with it. A direct look with his bright eyes and a  calm smile.”I’m  nine,” he says…then – afraid he might have been too abrupt – gives a little shrug, turns a hand palm up, shakes his head and grins, “I’m  just short.”

Tommy makes me so proud with his big heart, generosity of spirit, and ready smile. Tomorrow,  he turns ten.

Happy Birthday, Tommy.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

14 responses »

  1. I enjoyed your overview of your grandson~ he sounds delightful in many ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and his way with us~ Kindly, Debra

  2. Happy Birthday, Tommy! What a sweetie! I have a nephew who was the shortest kid in his class all the way through grade school. He’s now 19, 6’2″, and strong as an ox. Doesn’t really matter what the outside package is, it’s that tender heart that’s important. He’ll be a heart-breaker!

  3. He LOOKS tender-hearted, Cindy. So sweet… You captured his spirit perfectly, so the Native American elders are probably nodding in agreement. My native name is Rainbow Eagle Woman and the locals called our son “The Chief” or “The President”. I think that was because he always looked so serious.

    • Oh! I LOVE your native name! That suits you perfectly! Just knowing your son was called “The Chief”, I can clearly picture what he was like as a child. Tommy certainly fits the name I gave him. Thank you, for the birthday wishes! All three monikers are so much more pleasant than the “Never-wins-at-Kings-In-The-Corner” that, I think, was the last name my giggling older grandsons bestowed upon me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s