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In 2005, during an ultrasound, B and I cross-examined our technician, with hopes of unequivocally confirming, that yes, we were pregnant with a boy. Blas was afraid to hope and felt more than just “a little afraid” of a life without a male counterpart to balance out all the estrogen under one roof. But really, who can blame him for that?

Picking a name for Ryder was difficult. B, inexplicably, wanted to name our son “Seth,” the name of an obscure motocross rider from his youth, and I, having grown up with a thousand “Seths” was as indisposed to that name as I was to naming one of our daughters “Jennifer.” Seth was the least likely moniker for the little boy I envisioned but had yet to meet.

Anyway, we settled on Ryder — a homonym of sorts, which paid homage to my writing inclination and Blas’s “riding” hobby. If there is any truth to the concept of manifest destiny, it appears Ryder might in fact be living proof of it. When he was 3 or so, B began the frustrating process of signing Ryder up for baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming — just about every team sport you can imagine. Ryder never participated in these games, and if truth be told, he seemed so ill at ease, it was clear he wasn’t athletically inclined. Umm, the very opposite of Blas. That made for a tense period of time in our home. Blas was annoyed his only begotten son abhorred team activities. Meanwhile, I kept asking him to give Ryder time to acclimate. The thought Ryder might become a handsome intellectual who’d find the cure to cancer while penning the Great American Novel secretly thrilled me.

Alas, what became clear as day was Ryder’s growing obsession with all matters relating to cars: tv shows, movies, cartoons, bikes, motorcycles, etc. Hmm, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, after all. 

B soon realized Ryder might in fact, as his name suggests, have a talent for driving. The very first time Ryder sat in a go-kart at a local track, both Ryder and Blas were hooked. So, did his name influence his nature? Who knows.

With deep trepidation, B and I struck a deal: go karts only; motocross, which is B’s real passion, was out of the question. For nearly a year now, Ryder has been racing competitively in Florida. He’s done quite well despite his age and limited time on the track.

This past weekend, father and son recently headed out to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for practice karting laps. B suited up to race in his class division, but also to show Ryder the “line” and thereby improve his racing technique. 

The two did quite well.

What I do know is that B and Ryder are happiest when they’re at the track, fiddling with the go-kart, or watching Top Gear.

 You know, like father like son.

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