Since Annie is only three there are some things that are too complicated to explain to her, so I give her the “sorta, kinda, not really” version. For example, when she asked me where James came from I told her that “Mommy and I made him.” That’s true in a vague sort of way, or at least it was until she said, “You mean like with paper and tape?” and I replied “Exactly like that.”
Another thing I gave Annie the “sorta, kinda, not really” answer about is The Beatles. I’m a huge Beatles fan, as you probably know, and play a lot of Beatles’ music and videos around the house. Annie has become a fan too (her favorite songs are “Yellow Submarine” and “Your Mother Should Know”), and she especially likes Ringo because he plays the drums. One day Annie told me she wants to see them in concert, and since I didn’t want to be a total downer and explain that they haven’t been a band for forty-three years (and two of the members have passed on), I told her, “Me too!”
That wasn’t the biggest fib, but I dug myself in even deeper when Annie was looking through our wedding album and saw photos of the Beatles tribute band that performed at our reception.
“Dad!” Annie said all excited. “The Beatles were at your wedding!”
Instead of correcting her – and explaining the depressing truth about John and George and the break-up, and then explaining that there are bands that pretend to be other bands – I just said, “Uh, yeah! Isn’t that cool?”
I was pretty sure this Beatles’ house of cards I’d created was soon to tumble in on itself, though, now that Paul McCartney is out promoting his new album. He’s been on TV a lot (I even just went to see him in concert!), and though he’s very spry for his age, he looks a whole lot different than he did in his “Yeah, yeah, yeah” days.
Annie, however, didn’t seem to notice. Paul and his current band were performing on TV last night, and Annie said, “It’s The Beatles!”
I nodded, then watched Annie’s face for any sign that she was confused by Paul being fifty years older than she was used to. Amazingly, she didn’t seem fazed at all. We watched Paul and his current band sing another song or two until – suddenly – Annie jumped off the couch and pointed at the TV screen, alarmed.
“WHAT HAPPENED TO RINGO?!?!?!?!”
This is Abe, Paul’s current drummer:
And this, of course, is Ringo:
There’s a slight difference, don’t you think?
Annie may have been able to accept The Beatles were at our wedding and that Paul aged fifty years over night, but this was too much.
“Actually, Ringo’s out sick today,” I covered. “He has a cold. This guy is just filling in.”
Annie accepted this and went back to watching the concert. Phew. I’ve bought myself a little time before I have to sit her down and explain about Santa, The Easter Bunny, and The Beatles.