When Andrew was 6 months old he rolled his fat baby body over to a pile of items that were going to Deseret Industries. In that pile was an unfinished crochet of a Tiger created by his Aunt Nettie as a high school sewing project. Andrew hugged this ugly item, chewed on it, and truly told us in his baby language that he really was interested in keeping it. Well, as time went by, Tiger (as he was named), became an actual family member. Tiger was stroked by Andrew, plucked by Andrew, slept with Andrew, traveled on vacation with Andrew, played superheroes with Andrew, and was and continues to be Andrew’s best friend. I will never forget the day we left Tiger at Grammie and Papa Martin’s house and Great Grandpa Woolley drove from Orem straight to our house to ensure 3 year-old Andrew slept that night with his Tiger. I told Andrew that his Tiger was on the way and we waited out in the rain with an umbrella for their car. There was never a happier boy to be seen reunited with his best friend! At one point, Andrew had played and stroked Tiger’s fur so much that his bowels eviserated and we had a crisis on our hands. Nettie became a general surgeon and stitched Tiger back together. Then Grammie Martin outfitted Tiger with a “snowsuit” that came with a loving lifetime warrantee. Tiger’s head fell apart one day and even Great Grandma Woolley became a neurosurgeon. When Tiger developed special superhero powers, Aunt Michelle came to the rescue for Tiger’s diguise and created a Nacho Libre mask and cape.
When Andrew found out I was pregnant and that it was a boy. He realized that his brother needed a Tiger too. He drew a picture of a blue Tiger and mailed it to his Aunt Nettie requesting a special favor. When we arrived in Utah in August, Aunt Nettie worked tirelessly on this animal for Andrew. Once completed, we asked Andrew what this blue tiger would be called and he said “Tiger.” I told him it would be hard to know who we were talking about if there were two Tigers named Tiger in the house. He told me not be silly and that he could tell. I have been really curious as to whether Ethan would take to Tiger like Andrew had. It was pretty evident by the time Ethan was 12 weeks old that he would not be able to sleep without his Tiger and blanky too! When Andrew and Ethan grow out of this stage of life where their little Tigers are no longer essential, I will keep them in a safe place, always treasured, always remembered.