I could have sworn there was a time when driving 1300 miles with 4 boys under 10 and a golden retriever seemed like a good idea. It was the certain adventure of it all.
We could almost smell Niagara Falls at 1am. Michigan was interesting in a tree sort of way. Ohio is the only state that starts and ends with an “O”. Wisconsin had a sign that said “$15,000 fine for hitting a road worker”.
But 1300 miles later, we do make it an entire 92 minutes before we are back in the car headed to the emergency room. As I pull the cloth away from Ben’s forehead, Griffin promptly faints behind me. “Huh. Ben, you may need some stitches.” Eyes roll back. Out cold. I look over at Polly – our known fainter – and then at my two unconscious children and then at Cooper and Christian. Smelling salts could be a worthwhile investment for the Meyers.
Griffin learned to inner tube this summer while giggling and I think actually not breathing. But he was very good at it. This year Griffin started taking piano lessons, Ben started a guitar/clarinet combo and Cooper started guitar. I started to mow the lawn a lot.
So one night I come home to find the car as if some crazed squirrel has been finger painting with titanium finger nails all over the side. Was it that kid from down the street? Was it Christian? Grrrrrr. I sit down on the bench and contemplate my fury. But from this distance, I realize the scratches are not random. M-Y N-A-M-E I-S G-R-I-F-F-I-N.
“GRIFFIN!! Why did you do that??!” He throws up his hands, “Because chalk didn’t work!” I wasn’t quite sure what to say to that.
As for who I thought was the culprit, I walk into the bathroom to find Christian (1 ½ yrs), wearing Ben’s boots and studiously cleaning the edge of the toilet bowl with Griffin’s toothbrush. And then observe all the others neatly sticking out of the bowl like a Water Lilly of toothbrushes. I sigh and look at the ceiling. Is that peanut butter?
Just like that letter from the social security administration that says “based on your forecasted retirement a million years from now” I think the soccer league should send out a letter, “based on your standing on the side of this field for the next 16 years… a wise man might invest in a chair.” I like to think of myself as a wise man but apparently not that wise because I am still standing. Oh, and because I believed Polly when she said “other parents will definitely help you teach Sunday school.”
The boys, though, are fantastic. Ben is a quiet leader; Cooper is an un-quiet leader; Griffin just sees life spectacular; and Christian sees things and hides them in shoes. Things like car keys.
It was a big year for the parents. Polly and I both celebrated the 10th anniversary of our 30th birthdays by throwing ourselves a 70s party. My parents celebrated their 75th birthdays and 50th anniversary and Polly’s Mom celebrated her 70th! Divide by 6, subtract 2, and you are still left with a lot of people who don’t want to know how old they are.
Polly continues to perfect the Polly Theorem which has something to do with how many muffins you can inject into how many visitors over a given timeline and still account for nut allergies and the fact that we don’t have any flour. If you saw the movie “Hancock” I often feel like Jason Bateman (husband unwittingly married to a super-hero). There are things that just seem to go on around me that I can’t really explain. Like people still inviting us over when we have 4 boys, a dog, and a husband whose last thank you note was written in 2001.
We are a proud 6. 7 with the dog. 9 with the 2 squirrels living in our bedroom wall. And they do make me laugh. Music for me comes in the shape of 5 pairs of smiling eyes and one wagging tail. And occasionally in the shape of a 5 year old who ate too many beans. As always, we hope this letter finds you surrounded by family and friends and that we get to see you soon!