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In a few days Ryder will turn 7. Since his birth, he’s turned our lives upside down with an intractable nature imbued by his father’s devilish charm. Of all, I am his softest target, and he knows it.

Ryder has a passion for cars and trucks. B likes to draw these for him and Ryder will often copy the images drawn. When he concentrates, Ryder tends to hold his pen in a tight fist, his jaw set with a slight overbite like our bulldog Jack.

I put these sketches away along with countless other pieces of paper Ryder has scribbled on. These doodles measurably charter his changing interests and character. But, what I most love about them is that they demonstrate how much Ryder admires his father and how he emulates him.

Someday, as B says, Ryder will become a man, a brighter, cleaner and faster version of ourselves, but, hopefully, a man well-rooted in the foundation we’ve made our best effort to lay for him.

Happy Birthday Son!