Coming Soon to a Door Near You

March 23, 2009

Watch out Everett, Washington, because that handsome devil to the right? The one with the nice new suit, the finely combed hair, and the sensible walking shoes? He's headed your way.

That's my brother-in-law Bryan, and tomorrow morning he'll get on an airplane, fly to the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah, and swear off girls, skiing, TV, movies, phone calls, popular music, and all other manners of fun for two entire years. He will also get anywhere between 200 and 200,000 doors slammed in that innocent, smiling face.

Oh yes, the sweet life.

Bryan and I go way back. I first met him when he was in fifth grade, weighed in at 65 pounds, and if I remember correctly, he was required by law to sit in a 5-point harness car seat. Fine fine, that was a total exaggeration--it was just a booster.

Still, to this day, Bryan remains one of the skinniest people I know. Legs like angel hair pasta, people. The boy's got legs like angel hair pasta.

When I think about Bryan leaving for two whole years, with communication that's limited to letter-writing, I have a real mixed bag of feelings.

On one hand, I'm really happy to have one less Lawson boy farting into my living room couch cushions. But on the other hand, I'm totally sad that Jared's best friend is taking off for 24-months. That means, in an effort to fill the void, I'm going to have to learn how to fly-fish and shoot things. Take cover friends, take cover.

You know, part of me is thrilled that I now have a higher purpose for the overflow of my three-year-old's art projects. From this point forward, they shall avoid the trash and go airmail to Washington instead--Hallelujah, I have finally been freed from my guilt. But the other part of me is sad. Who will I mercilessly boss around? (e.g. Bryan, you're babysitting tonight for $2.50 and hour, and I don't want to hear any disrespectful back talk about it.)

I'm happy because Bryan is doing something difficult and challenging and important with his time. But I'm sad because now I can't mouth the word "LOSER" to my brother-in-law while we're sitting across the chapel from each other at church.

So yeah, I'm really not sure how to feel.

But, in conclusion, I'd like to leave Bryan with these words of encouragement...

Yes Bryan, the other missionaries will think you're funny--because you are. Yes Bryan, attractive looking Western girls will develop crushes on you--because, every girl thinks you're cute. Yes Bryan, you will be a great missionary--because you're a great person. And yes Bryan, these will be the best two years of your life to date (at least that's what the movie says).

So good luck, little brother! I love you, I'm proud of you, and James I promise to send you lots and lots of mail. No promises from Jared.


Blaine said...

Yes, but think of the riding and don't forget walking...maybe he'll even get some running in if someone sends a dog after them.

jjstringham said...

I'd be totally willing to answer the door in my shower curtain (just to make him feel like he's at home), but he's going too far north to that rich part of town. Poor guy. He's gonna feel so out of place. :-P

X-Country2 said...

I noticed a super cute Morman kid walking around my neighborhood a while ago. Almost drove onto someone's lawn trying to get a better look.:o)

Katy Shamitz said...

We'll be praying for you, Bryan!

Next time I see an Elder around town, I'll do something nice for him in your honor.

You've got guts.

Katy, Rob, Ty, & Jennie

Michelle Glauser said...

Maybe those sweet old Mormon Relief Society women will fatten up those legs.

Grandma said...

God Bless You Bryan!!

Mindy said...

Wow, you paid him to babysit? I made my younger in-laws babysit for free. ;)

He's a cute kid... I'm sure he'll do well!

Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry you guys are losing a cheap babysitter and good friend for two years. He's definitely a cute guy! Does he have a girlfriend yet? If not, I bet he'll come back with one. Did you ever watch the movie, "The Best Two Years"? I don't know how I found it on Netflix, but I did. It's about some young Mormon missionaries spending their two years in the Netherlands. It was good, too! I gave it 3 stars. :-)

Papa D said...

Someone who reads my personal blog forwarded the url for this post to me . . . since my son, Ryan, will be leaving in June to go to the Washington, Everett mission. Tell your BIL to look for Elder DeGraw in a few months.

We will be creating a blog to share parts of his letters, pictures, mission info, etc. If you want to check it out, it will link from may and my wife's blogs when we create it.

My wife's blog is:

Mine is:

Please let us know if someone will be blogging about your BIL's mission. We would love to keep up with him.

Julie said...

My nephew is there (Elder Peterson - I wonder how many there are with a name like that! :) He even looks a little like your babysitter!

chattypatra said...

See, Amy? One of the great things about the Church is how you can immediately find a network of people to welcome you when you move, no matter where you go. He's going to be just fine. He will go through a good number of pants from all the kneeling down to pray, and another good number of pairs of shoes from walking so much! He's going to be fine. :)

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