Our Story begins:
And The Award Goes To . . .
It was bedtime. None of them disputed that, as a matter of fact. The showers had been taken, teeth brushed, pajamas worn, all of that. The entire bedtime routine was going.
“Hey Dad, wasn’t the Oscars tonight, though?”
“I guess they were,” I told the boys as I tried to usher them up the stairs. I wasn’t aware they even knew the Academy Awards were this evening. I don’t normally watch them . . . I get my share of egomaniacs when I attend the local news Emmys if I get a nomination.
“Could we see if they’re still on,” they say? I roll my eyes, assuming this is yet another pathetic attempt at staying up another half hour or hour.
“Abbi’s probably watching them at college,” they tell me, trying to create some sort of long-distance shared experience. So I looked up the winners online. The biggest categories still hadn’t been named so I cave. They stay up and sit in front of the television.
It wasn’t that big a deal. We’d been watching some show on Netflix while I made cookies for their lunches. I still had to make the lunches for the boys so I was working on that while the awards were on.
Gravity won Best Director.
“I loved that movie! It deserves it,” says my middle daughter. I agreed wholeheartedly with her.
Cate Blanchett comes up . . . gives a pretty amazing speech (says the guy who hates award show speeches). My sons begin pelting me with speeches. “What’s Blue Jasmine,” they ask me.
“It’s an adult comedy. Woody Allen directed it.” I pray they don’t talk during the speech about the controversy with his kids I am not prepared, right before bed, to go down that road.
Best Actor. Matthew McCaoughnehy wins.
“Did you think he would win,” they ask me?
“I thought he might. I heard he was pretty amazing.” Yet another amazing speech, the boys actually comment on how they liked what he says. They look funny at me when I laugh uproariously as he says “alright, alright, alright . . . “
I get texts from their older sister in college about 12 Years a Slave winning. I inform her they kids wanted to watch. they are thrilled when their sister texts that Frozen won best animated film and best song. My middle daughter bemoans the fact Disney saw a need to replace the actor who sang said song with Demi Lovato in the credits. “That version sucked,” she says. I don’t disagree.
I’m beginning to see the companionship and togetherness in the whole thing, even though I’m pelted, incessantly, with questions about adult themes and terrible things the movies might have portrayed. I navigate the minefield of adult topics well and am feeling proud of myself. Who knew the Oscars could be such a great thing in keeping us together and having talks.
Just when I think I’ve had an amazing experience my sons look at the television when the show ends, almost an hour beyond its scheduled time, and simply say:
“What do you mean “huh?””
They look at me, trudge up the stairs, and shake their heads.
“What’s the problem,” I ask them.
“Well that wasn’t what we’d hope,” they tell me.
“Why, what did you hope,” I say, “that Abbi talked more? That we did Facetime with her while she watched?”
They look at me a little annoyed.
“No! We hoped the Lego movie would win,” they tell me and get under the covers.
“Huh,” is all I could say. No fancy, major discussions. They surprise me again. My turn to catch them off guard:
“Well, Lego came out this year. It couldn’t have won. Maybe next year.”
“Yay!” they tell me.
At the end of the day, it’s not about speeches, discussion or other major things. In the end . . . sometimes it’s just about Legos.