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.