Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to, or not to run a family band. Verdict is still out.

Not sure why I'm neglecting the blog, but perhaps it's because we're distracted with bookings, which are coming along just great, provided we don't actually intend to go anywhere next year. Ha! Actually, we're just sending things out and haven't finished yet, let alone gotten to the "call everyone and beg" part.

Do me a favor. Don't mention to anyone that I write such things on my blog. I don't promote this blog from our official web site for a reason! I think I'm supposed to be professional. We've tried. Really. In concert as well, we try to coach the kids into acting like the other bands out there, starting up in an instant for the next song, being ready to come in on time, and everything mature and proper. Then, like in our last concert, our "professional" fiddle player drops his fancy new bow in the middle of the song, bends down to get it while singing so the audience can't hear him anymore, and publicly announces when it's over that he had to drop it because he had the "itchiest nose EVER!" 

This was shortly before his little sister came up on stage for our finale of "America the Beautiful", we all got ready to sing, and she tapped on me to let me know that she had to go to the bathroom and it couldn't wait. I dismissed her, everyone grabbed instruments, and we thought up another song to stall, while everyone roared with laughter as she ran the other way. They had a chance to laughed again when she failed to return to the stage and instead went into the back play room where she had been dancing with some other girls.

I vowed to never let that little girl run amok again after tonight's show. I have said it before, but I really, really, really mean it this time. There were about 20 kids playing on the playground, right by where we were performing, so I let her, thinking I could keep an eye on her. Bad choice. Bonked head, hyperactivity, distractions, wandering off, too tired to sing, hiccups, dancing, etc.

This was definitely worse than usual, but not the first time the whole show suffered at the hyperactivity of a 7-year-old, but I'm a slow learner. I waver between wanting to let her just be a little kid, since I'm a terrible "stage mom", and expecting her and her brother to learn some professionalism with the rest of us, because it builds character. In truth, I am far more strict when we are being paid by an organization. I tend to let more go when it's a casual show at an RV park that is simply giving us donations, while people eat, play, relax, and just socialize, but I think tonight was a little over the top even for that, and she needs some consistency to expectations. I need to get in touch with my inner tiger mom.

Then we go back to her brother, whose distractions are simply more sophisticated, like when he recently talked a sound tech into putting on the disco ball during Orange Blossom Special, prior to the show and without our knowledge, and held up the show until he got her attention and she got it running.

And yet, it would seem the audience still loves us, no matter how weird things get. I suppose it makes it easier for them to relate to us when we don't play the "look, we're perfect" game, but have fun and play good music. I sure hope so, because we could sure use more of that lovin' when we go to prepare for our 2013 season!

I reckon we'll need to make them shape up by the time they're teenagers. That stuff's not quite as cute coming from a teenager. Not that I'd know from experience. My teenagers are my gooooooood kids. Well, other than getting out of bed at noon and sitting in front of their laptops the rest of the day. Put that aside and I was such a good parent for the first 6 years of motherhood, then God laughed just like the audience later would. Thankfully, I have enough sense to laugh over it quite a bit too. Or cry. Same thing some nights.

Someday the kids will want to be in a grown-up band, and I suppose they'll start to behave when they are ready to do so. Until then, we'll just have fun.

Well, how about some pictures. 
 Spent the previous week in Clinton, IN at a great park. Have I mentioned how happy we are to be back in the Thousand Trails parks? Behind the bus is a lake, but you can't see it through the pretty flowers and cattails.
We found a pet turtle while staying there. He was our pet for about 10 minutes, then we let him go. 
 Lumps on a Sunday afternoon. Not all days need to be an adventure.
 Champagne, Illinios - Wallydocking near a Starbucks. Love!
Earlier before the show the kids went on a hayride at the park.
 Wilmington, OH. I wish we could have stayed at this park longer. It was a favorite.
 Took this picture in Batesville, IN. This was a neat park, but the family center was closed, and that made it a little more confining, but we did manage to get in some S'Mores.
Prior to our trip to Clinton we stayed at a park just across the state line in Illinois. It was a wonderful park, but without wifi and with no phone service, we only stayed 2 nights.  While we were there we toured their wonderful barn, where they hold Gospel sings and worship services, the kids watched humming birds (Sean took this picture), and enjoyed quiet time by the beautiful lake.
The Barn. Beautiful conversion inside!
The entry chair to the barn. Clever idea!

Very pretty, but I think the leaves were falling off more from drought than the coming fall. Lake was way down, and they badly needed rain.

We play a gospel show next weekend for a church up in Wisconsin, and then we head into Pennsylvania. So excited! Fall is coming and we get to head to some very beautiful country, ornery kids and all. :)

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