*Jacob made this movie when he started at Williamsburg Academy. He had to create something that introduced himself to the rest of the class.
I’ve been crying a lot the last few weeks.
One thing I’ve realized since my surgery is that rather than bury my emotions in food, I have to feel them. There was some drama with someone in my family last week. Real drama – the kind that you don’t recover from quickly. The old me would have buried the anger and hurt with food and continued on my merry way. But this time I had to face my fears and deal with the matter at hand rather than running from it. And I did. I had a clarity of thought regarding the matter and was surprised at how great it felt to deal rather than avoid it.
But this post isn’t about that emotion. It’s about the emotion of losing a son. No – that’s not right. I’m not losing a son. He’ll always be my son. He’s not disappearing from my life completely, but he’s leaving. There are 36 weeks left in the year and Jacob will be with our family for only 8 of them. And when this year is up, he will be leaving for two years to serve The Lord as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
With all my calculating, I realized that when Jacob left today, I would have only eight of the next 140 weeks with him. And then I cried. Every time I think about it I cry. I’m going to miss the ever loving snot out of him! I already do.
We went to Disney World and there was a family behind us in line with a couple little boys. I was reminded of when we took Jacob and Josh to Disney when Josh was 3 years old. I couldn’t believe how quickly time has gone by. And then I cried – right there in line for Winnie the Pooh.
I’m pretty sure a package of Red Vines would help my emotional outbursts, but seeing as how I can’t eat sugar, I’m having to process the information myself.
The thing is, next to Jake, Jacob is my best friend. He knows me as well as I know him. I love to talk with him. We have great conversations. He’s smart and funny and has good ideas. He’s a great listener. He’s able to look around him and see what needs to be done. He has a work ethic to rival his fathers – which is saying something. He has big plans for his life. I have no doubt he’ll accomplish every one.
He’s also very in tune to my emotions and how I’m feeling. He looks for ways to lift my burden and make my day better. He’ll start the laundry, do the dishes, run to the grocery store, refill my water, and mix me up a protein drink. There will be a large gaping hole in my life now. My oldest child is gone. He’s starting his life with a summer of adventures. I’m so happy for him, yet sad for me.
It’s hard for me to remember a time when Jacob wasn’t part of our lives. Jake and I were married in October (we were both 21) and we found out I was pregnant in June. He wasn’t a surprise or a mistake – we wanted him – had been hoping for him. He came too early – three months early – and weighed only 2 lbs 8 ounces. Although tiny enough to fit in his daddy’s hand, he has always been a fighter. Three months later we took him home from the hospital and never looked back. He’s just always been a part of our lives. Everything we’ve been through – he’s been through with us.
He was an only child for 4 1/2 years and never quite got over having Josh interrupt his awesome life.I suppose it’s normal for lots of first time parents, but we always expected so much from him. And he always rose to the challenge.
His life has been full of adventures. He’s lived in 20 homes in his 17 years. By the time he was in 5th grade he had attended 10 different schools, after which point we decided to just homeschool. He and I started the Washington D.C. tradition when he was 10 years old. We spent a week, just he and I, in D.C. Those memories are sweet. He got a scholarship to Space Camp in Alabama when he was 11. He was sure he would be the first astronaut on Mars. He went to BYU summer swim camp when he was 12 and again when he was 14. He attended Especially for Youth at Brigham Young University. He went to the National Boy Scout Jamboree and has been to Elevation six times. He’s visited 29 of the 50 states, as well as Mexico and Canada.
His best friend is his cousin, Andrew. Though often separated by thousands of miles, the two of them forged a relationship that is as close as I’ve ever seen. When I hear Jacob giggle when he’s talking on the phone, I know he’s talking to Andrew. They are lucky to have each other.
Jacob has an unlucky history with the iPod Nano. I believe he owned one of every generation.
He’ll work side by side with his father without hesitation. The two of them could move a mountain with sheer determination and brute force.
He’s missing both lateral incisor teeth and has no wisdom teeth.
He has an unusual passion for education. He knows that education is the key to his future and has owned that responsibility. He graduated from high school when he was 16 from Williamsburg Academy. He was awarded the Elevated Ethics Award.
Swimming has been his sport. He’s been on 4 different swim teams. Backstroke and freestyle are his signature strokes.
He’s never had the kind of employment that most teenagers have, rather he owned his own businesses mowing lawns and washing windows. He worked for the last year as a leadership coach for middle school aged youth. He took that responsibility seriously and made an impact in their lives.
He’s been involved with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts since he was 8 and has earned his Eagle Scout Rank.
Serving others will be a big part of his mission in life. He loves to be outdoors. He has his eye on becoming a pararescueman for the Air Force. Their motto is “That others may live”. That sounds like Jacob.
What I’m trying to say is that my son is an amazing young man. I couldn’t be more proud of him. The large gaping hole in our family that is left in his absence will be hard to navigate. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
He’s spending his summer pursuing his dreams. Dreams he earned the right to pursue. Since he was 13, Jacob has had to earn the money that goes into his adventures. Rather than use that as an excuse to allow his dreams to become smaller and more easily attained, they have grown and matched his zeal for life.
I love you Jacob. I hope your summer is amazing! But I’m going to miss you every second!
*Josh was at a scout campout this weekend so he missed Jacob’s departure.