Tiger is 11 today.

Eleven years of Star Wars, LEGO, origami, knot-tying, scouting, farting, belching, reptile-loving AWESOME.

Tiger is all boy. In some ways, he’s even more stereotypical “boy” than Boy Patriot, though there is no mistaking either of them for anything other than 100% testosterone powered.

This younger son of mine came into the world with a bang at 9 lbs, 6 oz and balancing a 15″ head on his short, stocky body. He’s built like a little wrestler. We used to call him Tank.

Tiger once ate a worm because a girl told him she would give him a dollar if he did. I asked if he got the dollar up front. He looked confused and said, “no. I’d have done it anyway.”

This is the boy who once entered the house cradling a white larva the size of his thumb. He had found it outside and wanted to keep his “worm” as a pet. It took all my strength to tell him that those kinds of worms had to live outside, and would he please get it out of my living room?

The boy is completely convinced of his “awesome.” He once told me, “girls love me because I am the awesome.” He was 8 at the time. Since he has eyelashes that any supermodel would envy, I’m sure that’s quite possible.

Tiger is funny. He has a deadpan wit that his teachers appreciate, even when they can’t condone it. His fourth grade teacher once told me how tired he gets of fourth grade humor, and how much he enjoyed having Tiger around since his humor is more mature.

But Tiger isn’t all “snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” He’s also the one we call our little theologian. Tiger has always had a deeper understanding of God at an earlier age than any of our other children. He’s the one who periodically tosses out some kind of thought or observation about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or some fine point of theology or doctrine that we just, quite simply, didn’t realize he understood. He is a quiet observer, taking in everything around him, processing it slowly, and then offering up his own, well-reasoned thoughts.

Tiger was my easy baby. I could put him in his crib, and he would play for 45 minutes, drift to sleep, and wake up happy two hours later. If I needed to entertain him, no problem–put him in proximity of some kind of lights or music, and he was thrilled. A Hot Wheels car to chew on and make “vroom vroom” noises with? Even better. He smiled at two weeks old, slept ten hours at night at three weeks old, and laughed a full belly laugh at eight weeks old.

He loves music. He has always danced, swayed, clapped, marched, walked, or in some fashion moved to any music he hears. He didn’t even realize he was doing it for years. We would see him swaying or dancing and point it out to him, and he’d deny that he was doing anything.

Part of that could be his stubborn streak. My word, this kid does have a streak! He can dig his heels in with the best, refusing to budge or move or in any way change his mind. Oddly, though, he does tend to be a rule-follower, and he loves his routines. It’s when he’s outside of the routines that the stubborn streak usually shows up.

There is a darkness in Tiger. We call him our “evil genius.” We’re all pretty much convinced that when it all comes down, he’ll either save us or rule us. I’m hoping I get some kind of special consideration since I know how to make chocolate chip cookies.

Tiger is a bundle of fun, wit, and just plain awesome. If we can harness his powers for good instead of for evil, we’ll be just fine.

Happy birthday, Tiger. Remember your mom when you take your position as Overlord.



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