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I am fully aware that whatever Oedipal complex is brewing in my home, I alone am fully responsible for it. My son Ryder, who by nature’s design, began an irrevocable bond with me long before he was born — here on earth, he is my pal, my tormentor, but best of all, my little man — the very best version of Blas, with a dash of Evel Knievel. He is a charming nuisance, a walking contradiction, best exemplified in Sour Candy commercials.

Before this becomes a lyrical song which causes you to gag at your desk — I promise to use as much restraint I can muster to describe why Ryder can provoke a Shakespearean soliloquy at the drop of a dime.

So yesterday B took  us go karting in an empty field near our home. As we bounced along the road, our go-kart lurched in the bed of our truck, making me feel as though I wasn’t in a bustling suburb but instead, in the backwoods somewhere deep in South Dakota. As I fought the temptation to speak with a southern drawl, I silently wondered how my hot-blooded, hispanic husband had become such a lover of all things Americana — i.e., motocross, monster trucks, rodeo, football, and Ford (God help us if we buy anything but American). When we reached our spot, Maya looked around and stated our expedition was unauthorized as we were about to trespass on private land.

Ryder bounced around as B unloaded the go-kart and fastened his helmet. He then took off in a cloud of dust across that field quicker than lickity split. We watched our five-year-old son as he became familiar with the terrain. After quite some time of zig zagging his way through the field, Ryder offered me a ride. The question was unexpected. It made me blush. Really? Me? I felt like a wallflower basking in the sunlight of a charming suitor.

With untold pleasure I sat beside my son as he carefully drove through the gravel and grass, kicking up dirt and debris on my clean hands, hair, skin, and face. His hands, thick and plush, gripped the steering wheel, and his voice, muffled by the helmet and the loud motor, repeatedly asked,  “Are you okay?  Are you  having a good time?”

Of course I am having a good time! I have been squired to and fro across a dusty field by the most solicitous young man ever to walk on God’s green earth. I may as well have been led by the hand by a chivalrous prince into a quiet garden.

I was Ryder’s very first passenger, the very first girl to ever sit beside him in a moving vehicle. That, friends, is worth more than gold.


Oh, yes, Ryder also took his father for a joy ride…