The Academy Awards were held Sunday night.
Not that anyone (besides me) took note in our household.
I personally don’t mind a little celebrity indulgence now and then, and have a little bit of fun catching up on what people are wearing, who’s saying what, and quite honestly, figuring out what movies actually came out in the past year, as I certainly haven’t gotten around to seeing anything in a theater for far too long.
But I’ve been married to my husband long enough to know that even mentioning that the Oscars are on will elicit an eye roll and a few snide remarks from him.
Something about wasteful self-aggrandizement, and pretenses, and an allegory about all the cool kids in school getting drunk and talking for hours about how cool they all are usually ensues.
“Like they don’t get enough attention or pay, so they need a party and some shiny awards.”
I can see his point.
(Not that that keeps me from thinking Lupita Nyong’o looked divine.)
But it did get me wondering this year.
Who DOES deserve an award?
Who is out there without the praise and adulation (and certainly without the paychecks) that these gala-goers get? Who is out there really making a powerful, lasting impact in the world, even though no one’s watching?
Many people came to mind.
I can’t comment on their fashions, but I’d be willing to bet that the children whose lives they touch couldn’t care less about whose name was on their labels or what they chose as accessories.
So here’s my awards list.
The Real Winners
To those parents who never lose it.
And to the ones who apologize when they do. (No one showed up to claim the first award anyway….)
To all those who do the literal dirty work of parenthood — the diapers, the sick days, the spilled milk, the what-in-the-world-is-this disasters.
To the parents and teachers who always see the best in their kids despite being there with them at their absolute worst.
(And to the kids who return the favor.)
To the dads who can sing every note of the Frozen soundtrack and the moms who can throw a tight spiral.
To the teachers who spend too much time and too much money on their students because teaching is their passion, not just a job.
To the parents who spend twice as much time trying to understand the math homework as they do helping their kids complete it.
To the preschool teachers who welcome little ones to their laps with open arms, despite a smell that tells them baths are scarce and an administrative note that tells them lice are abundant.
To the parents who stay up all night with a sick child, with a wayward child, with a dying child.
To the parents who play at the park, make homemade volcanoes, and serve pancakes shaped like hearts, as well as to the parents who exhaust themselves simply keeping their heads above water. (And to all of us who know we’ve played both roles depending on the day.)
To anyone who can make it through bedtime stories without falling asleep mid-sentence.
To the inspirational parents who stand solidly together and show their kids what it means to parent as part of a balanced, respectful partnership.
And to the amazing parents who do it all alone because of deployment, divorce, death, depression, disease, or because that was just the hand they were dealt.
To the parents who have a knack for always finding that one missing shoe.
To those grown ups who simply show up for the kids who need them and who stand up for children and childhood. To all the grown ups who refuse to let age obscure the knowledge of what it really means to be a child.
Let’s have THAT party.
Let’s celebrate those amazing people who are around us every day, working tirelessly for children and for families. Let’s even pat ourselves on the back now and then for just doing what needs to be done.
I’d like to think that some of the same people who showed up for the Oscars would come to this party too. But when they’re asked the famous “who are you wearing” question, the answer might look a bit more like this.
What unsung hero would you give an award to?