As you read these lines my son Jacob and my wife Sara are headed to Tarleton State University to enroll Jacob in college.
Jacob graduated from Houston High School just a few short months ago and is now making that leap to college and adulthood.
This is the second Ingram to make it to college and, while we are certainly proud, we have learned that this is the moment when parents turn loose of their children and watch them fly away.
He has grown up and he is gone.
Jacob is our Number Two son and four years younger than our oldest.
He was the curious one, the one who loves others and the one who always made me laugh.
I won’t go into all the silly things he did to bring a smile to my face. I won’t tell you all the times he tried something new and we watched him learn the hard way how life works.
I will tell you he is the one with the big heart, the one who always thinks of others first and the one born with a natural desire to be kind to others.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that Jacob wants to be a teacher.
He was the one who cared for pets and younger brothers. He was the one who hated to see poor people and wanted to figure out ways to help them. He was the one who took his religion and walk with Jesus so seriously.
It is so difficult for Sara and I to turn him loose in a cruel world.
Don’t get me wrong, he has big square shoulders, he’s taller than average and he sports a full beard that proves he is more of a man than most.
Sara and I have nurtured him for the past 18 years. Now is the time to see how good a job we have done.
Yes, Jacob is gone.
I will head out to Stephenville, Texas this weekend to pickup Sara and hug him one last time before we return to Houston.
We won’t see him again until Christmas.
I’ve watched this boy closely over the last few months and learned that he is grown. It’s the natural order of things for kids to reach a point in their life where they make their own money, make their own decisions and make a life for themselves.
While he lived under my roof he was my boy and played by my rules. Jacob will now live elsewhere, make new friends and new rules. Over the next four years he will largely become the man he will be for the rest of this life.
I have learned the hard way that the hardest part of being a parent is not holding on to keep them from harm, but turning them loose to watch what they become.
I hope people who know Jacob will pray for him over the next four years. And while you are at it, pray for Floyd and Sara, too. This parenting thing doesn’t get any easier the second time around.