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Telling the ChickieNob that Adam Yauch is Dead

Updated at the Bottom

The ChickieNob’s favourite band is the Beastie Boys.  Before you judge my parenting skills, we have edited versions of the songs and videos for her to enjoy.  She calls the band, “My Boys” as in, “Mommy, can I use your iPod so I can see my boys?”  I’m not sure how or when she found them — maybe two or three years old? — but she has loved them for a long time.  Because I was upstairs and not overseeing the art project, the ChickieNob decorated her paper turkey for the class Thanksgiving celebration in pictures of the band.  Her paper Beastie Boys turkey next to all the other children’s birds adorned with beads, feathers, and stickers.

And now Adam Yauch has died, and I’m going to have to pick her up from school and tell her.

Unlike Steve Jobs, I could not tell her.  There most likely won’t be magazine covers to explain or news stories to overhear.  I had no choice but to tell the Wolvog about Steve Jobs because he was going to hear it somewhere and I wanted him to hear it from his parents.  Whereas it now becomes a choice: do I tell the ChickieNob that one of her boys is gone?  Or do I let her keep listening to the music, knowing full well that we would have never taken her to a concert anyway due to its uneditable quality?  I’m wavering between realism and fantasy since I have that luxury this time.

I’m leaning heavily towards fantasy for no good reason other than the fact that she is my little girl and this is her favourite band.

My heart goes out to his wife and child.


I told her.  After school.  We went into her room and sat on her bed, and it was like watching an intense summer storm.  At first she howled, tears streaming down her face, and then she tried to ask questions, but she couldn’t catch her breath.  And finally she went through a long list of the bands that everyone else in the house liked that she did not like as much as the Beastie boys.  She cried for Adrock and Mike D.  And she cried for MCA’s daughter.  And then she told me that she didn’t want to see their videos or listen to their music or have anyone talk about them tonight.  And right now, we are in the calm after the storm.


1 Pie { 05.04.12 at 1:41 pm }

Oh no – you just told me! That’s sad, i love the boys too. I think I’d tell her, I dunno why, I just would. It will be sad, but she will be ok in the end, and if she did find out somewhere else, you (and she) would be upset about that too I think.

2 a { 05.04.12 at 2:09 pm }

I lean towards telling too – getting into the habit of withholding information in the interest of protecting your child…well, I know from experience that it doesn’t help. There was that time that my mom kept telling me that my dad was out/at church/somewhere while I was at college, and then I came home unexpectedly to find out that he was in the hospital. I was more than a little angry…but they just didn’t want to worry me. Sigh. And then there was the time when my husband was working overseas and they found out his dad had cancer and they didn’t want me to tell him.

3 Tiara { 05.04.12 at 2:14 pm }

I wouldn’t take the chance she wouldn’t hear about it. Of course you want to protect her but…

Thinking of you & the ChickieNob

4 rachel { 05.04.12 at 5:48 pm }

Your kids get cooler and cooler.

My ring tone is “Brass Monkey”. Licensed to Ill was the first TAPE I ever bought…saved my allowance up and everything!

Whereas I see the idea behind not telling her, I think its maybe the chance to teach her about love and loss.

5 Mo { 05.04.12 at 7:32 pm }

Oh, my heart is breaking just reading this. The boys were a huge part of my childhood, I h0pe they continue to be a huge part of hers.

6 Kathy { 05.05.12 at 1:52 am }

I love that your daughter loves the Beastie Boys (me too!) and am sorry she got such sad news about one of them today. It sounds like you handled it well and she is processing and grieving in ways that work for her. Rest in peace MCA.

7 Kristin { 05.05.12 at 2:03 am }

My heart is breaking for ChickieNob. It sounds a lot like when Marty found out his favorite race car driver, Dale Earnhardt, had died. It’s so very hard when you have to tell them something that breaks their heart.

8 stephanie { 05.05.12 at 3:13 am }

My older son’s favorite song refrain is “Hey ladies, get fuuuunky.” 🙂 It does feel so sad. It’s like a piece of my youth went with MCA today.

9 JustHeather { 05.05.12 at 5:03 am }

*Big hugs ChickieNob*
I remember hearing the Beastie Boys for the first time at the end of the 80’s. My brother and I were home alone and put this record on to play, loudly. We rocked out to “You gotta fight for your right” and loved it. They’ve held a special spot in my heart ever since.
We’ll miss MCA, but their music will go on.

10 Bea { 05.05.12 at 9:16 am }

Oh, I hadn’t heard. That is sad news, especially for his family. A hard conversation for you to have, too.


11 Tigger { 05.05.12 at 11:54 am }

I’m in tears reading your description of her sorrow. I have felt this heart-rending pain and I remember it well. Many, many hugs for her.

12 Lacie { 05.09.12 at 8:16 am }

I have been thinking about this post since I read it. I LOVE the Beastie Boys. It was the one concert that I REALLY wanted to go to, but never made it. I am sad with the ChickieNob. I listened to Licensed to Ill over and over again on my walkman.

“Lookin’ for a girl, I ran into a guy. His name was MCA. I said, “Howdy” he said, “Hi.”

Hugs to ChickieNob.

13 Lacie { 05.09.12 at 8:18 am }

Updated e-mail address.

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