That One Day When The Fearless Leader Was Born

We always knew Jacob would be great. He was the one who saved his allowance, loaning his brother and sister money when they would run out. We could see him starting a business, donning jeans with a tweed sport coat with the elbow patches.
The night I went into labor with him was memorable because we didn’t have anyone to keep our two older children, so I drove myself. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart (inconsistently) and not awful, but still pretty painful. After putting my babies to bed and assuring them that I would bring back their new baby brother, I started my journey.
It was probably a 20-minute drive to the hospital and, thankfully, it was 11pm on Thanksgiving in 1996, so traffic was light. I remember pulling over every 5 minutes or so to breathe through a contraction. I got to where I could anticipate the gradual tightening and twisting and would pull over before it completely overtook my body. My 20-minute drive took about 45 minutes (with the pulling over and whatnot) and when I finally got to the emergency room, Goliath and the Philistines had made a comeback after a 3-year hiatus. I’m not sure why they gave me a break with my second one, but they were back and ready to party.  The nurses were frantically looking for the person who drove me and I whispered, (again, because of the Philistines) “I did.”
They rushed me to a room, but it was several hours before I would give birth. I called the husband and let him know that I had made it. Once the babies awakened, my family joined me at the hospital and on November 29, 1996, Jacob David blazed his way into the world. I say blazed because he is my fireball and to this day, fears nothing.
He watched his brother and sister run up and down the hallway one day. He was 9 months old, wearing his favorite outfit (a diaper and high top tennis shoes), holding onto the arm of a chair just watching. Intently. The next thing I knew, he took off running after them! Running!  No slow, toddling steps, no fear, just running.
When he was older, we were at a friend’s house and all the kids were in the playroom that was in a small building, separate from the house. They all came hurriedly into the house frantically looking for Jacob. I only panic because the fear that usually keeps children from going too far, or doing something extra crazy was missing from my child. I look out the window and see him…perched on the roof of the playhouse, arms behind his head, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankle, a good 25 feet in the air, smiling and unafraid.
Jacob is, without a doubt, an amazing young man, with a determination that will take him anywhere he wants to go. He enlisted in the Army National Guard right before his high school graduation and has a way with people that is like watching a potter with clay. My fearless leader. He makes me proud.


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  1. Erica”love this keep on can go back and enjoy anytime. I always wrote little notes about vacation and diff things but didn’t keep wish I had bec when u get older thing start to run tog and can’t rememb thaw exp. Anyway I have a Journal, just a spiral notebook, for 17 yrs. it fun to go back and read. I encourage young folks like u to do this. My daughter does so many interesting things, but won’t keep a journal. Keep in tch..God Bles .

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