I should have posted this on Sunday, but I'm not that on the ball. If you don't recognize the guy on the right, it's John Valazquez, the jockey who rode the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. The guy on the left is my son (in 2007, when he was three).
You know how kids go through stages where they love trains, or hot wheels or barbie dolls? Well, my son went through a stage where he loved horse racing. Not just horses, but horse racing. We took the kids to Keeneland (a racetrack in Lexington, KY) in October of 2007, so he could witness his fascination in person. As we were loitering around the paddock, we struck up a conversation with one of the workers. He asked if we we would like to go in the back and meet a jockey. My son might as well have been meeting Elvis. He was so excited.
Here is the entire family at our Keeneland outing. Look at those fat little legs on my baby. Even though this was only about 3 1/2 years ago, it seems like a lifetime ago. I miss those chubby legs! It was a hot and muggy day in October and the temperature reached almost 90 degrees. Our little one couldn't yet walk so it was a long day carrying that load around all day. I guess you see where my kids get their curly hair.
The day after Keeneland, we made a trip to The Kentucky Horse Park.
Secretariat has always been his favorite race horse.
Santa had to get resourceful and buy Secretariat on e-bay that Christmas.
Here's my son showing off the "authentic jockey goggles" John Valazquez gave him.
I'm pretty sure he didn't take them off all weekend. Of course, we still have them.
The horse racing obsession fascination didn't end there.
When he turned four about six months later, he wanted a horse racing birthday party.
My mom made him a personalized jockey jacket and gave him the pants, boots and hat to go with it. He was in heaven!
Here he is racing his horse (in our driveway in March). I swear it wasn't as cold as it looks.
Every time I look at pictures like this, I'm reminded of how fast time flies. When they were babies, they needed me every second of everyday. Now they are growing up and they need me less and less each day. I wish I could stop the clock for a few years. Since that can't happen, I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy them each and every day.