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.