Oct 26, 2007

Little Big Brother

My little brother is preparing for a mission right now. It is so strange to me, because he was 11 when I left home. His voice changed shortly thereafter; I remember calling home from college my freshman year and mistaking him for my dad.

John grew up fast. In a lot of ways. And in lots of other ways, he's still a kid. For instance, he doesn't think he's too cool to exchange witticisms with his older sister, and he still gets REALLY excited about things that he likes and good things that happen to him, and he still doesn't always put his underwear away like he's supposed to. (He'd probably exchange more than witticisms with me if he knew I posted that. And with my mom, who by all rights shouldn't be telling ME things like that but, that's what family is for, right? Unwelcome intrusion).

John, John, John. When I went home to visit a couple of years ago, we all went out on the town for some window-shopping and theater-going. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that no less than FIVE girls approached and flirted with him as we walked past. One of them actually ran out of her HOUSE and across her LAWN and practically leapt a FENCE in her quest of flirtation. The shameless hussy, flirting with a boy when is cackling older sisters are walking right behind them.

John knows women. He's one boy out of six kids. We surround him; he's number 4. John has had plenty of opportunity to study the art of kissing since he was a freshman in high school. (He's been in a lot of plays. don't get me wrong, my brother is lily-white. I'm sure he's only REALLY kissed like, maybe 3 girls so far).

How will the mission change him? Will he fare well in the company of overwhelming maleness, after being suffocated it estrogen for his entire existence?

Will he come back wanting to be a construction or electrical engineering major instead of opera and music performance, like he's opting for now?

Will his intensive study of ancient texts, foreign languages, and volumes by Hugh Nibley prove to be helpful or hurtful in his quest to teach the small, simple doctrines to his investigators?

I see John as a seedbed of compassion, empathy, strength and intelligence. He grew up before his time, and so people have sometimes misunderstood him. A small dose of humility (I mean, a large shock of humility-- this is the mission, after all) will serve him well; make him into something more than a precocious teenager. He'll come home a man. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I can't even begin to imagine how my mom feels.

Here's the real question, though: Will he let me play his Gibson while he's gone?


Josh and Jennifer said...

You should post some pictures of your family. I bet I'd hardly recognize any of them anymore! Crazy how time flies. Do they still do the annual caroling? I miss that!

Jayne said...

Enjoyed reading this. I think you'll be amazed at how he will change. When my son came home, I seriously had to stare at him for a couple of seconds before I realized, "What a handsome MAN that is!" He was a teen when he left, but....

Where is your brother's mission?