The Family of Yes

June 19, 2011


Meet The Family of Yes.

No, not the late 80’s super group.

It’s us.  If you know us, you might be surprised to hear me call us anything but conflicted.  But this was my goal for us for a week as a family at Music Camp. That we say Yes.  At least that we would say Yes more than we said No.

The Family of Yes began, like many of our most ill-fated adventures, with an announcement in the car.  I shut off the Michael Jackson, called for everyone’s attention, and started talking about the idea of becoming — or at least pretending for awhile to be — the family of positivity.  The family that launches into things without a lot of overthinking and holding back.

I introduced it as a family idea, but made it clear that whether or not I had their support, this would be me for the week.  The one who is agreeable, who stops the voice of doubt.

I would, essentially, become somebody else.

There were a number of factors in my favor in this particular moment.  For one thing, we were heading over water to an AMC camp on an island, with cabins.  Just getting in a boat and traveling those few miles would be enough to jump start my inner engine.  I would cut the cord to the internet and live in the real world for a time.

We were also heading towards music, which is the way I feed my soul.  I like food and all — particularly if there are meat and cheese products involved in a meal — but a good song with a solid beat and a balls-out bridge tastes better and sticks more closely to my ribs.

We were also leaving school far behind.  The homework would end, along with the early morning wakeups, the eternally-being-late-for-class, the inevitable social traumas, the need to sit still and behave a certain way.  Because the kids were freed from school, I was also freed from forcing them through the schedule.

The final factor in favor of this mini-transformation is that the week began mid-June.  As bad as the winter gets for me each year, June is its polar opposite.  As the days grow long, the tightness in my back muscles unfurls.  Into these open, loving June days, I cram as much joy, levity, and ease as I can fit.

You would think that “cramming” such ephemeral things might not be safe for them, but really they hold up pretty nicely.  Happy can be just as sturdy as sad.

A long drive, a short boat ride, and there we were.  We unpacked into rustic cabins for two, each one situated just at the edge of a deep, wide lake.  Cabins on Three Mile Island (yes, that is the real name) have no electric lights inside, but a huge picture window lets in the long June days and the view of the lapping water.  We ate dinner at a long table on the summer porch of the Main House, where generations of AMC campers have eaten before.

I found myself on an island, in the rain, along with my little family, who had only grudging agreed to come in the first place.  It was my idea, but all four of us agreed — shockingly — to try out life as the Family of Yes.  We committed to sing our way through a week, even if we didn’t know the tune.  To trying the new without a lot of tormented wondering if it was all going to work out.  A path would lay itself before us one way or another, and the Family of Yes committed to see where it led.


Sunset from Breezy 2

Sunset, from Breezy 2

“One Time At Band Camp” to be continued…

Lindsey June 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Wow … that photo and your story both take my breath away.

Zaro weil June 8, 2013 at 1:38 am

How i love this family of 4! I expect you’ll read this a week from now. Bravo mes cheres amis!!!!!

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