Sunday night, my son and I watched some of the Oscars. If you’re a regular reader, you might remember that we had also watched most of the Super Bowl together. (Here’s the link in case you missed it: http://wendykennar.blogspot.com/2014/02/super-bowl-sunday.html)
Of course, we watched more out of curiosity. I wasn’t invested in any particular film -- truth be told, my husband and I haven’t been to the movies in over a year, and consequently haven’t seen any of the nominated films. But I have my favorite actresses (Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep), and I’m always intrigued by the fashions.
Ryan asked questions about everything. He asked why there were so many commercials. He asked who would win. He asked why it was taking so long for the show to start. And he asked what Ellen was doing.
My son knows who Ellen is. He’s seen her billboards around town, he’s seen snippets of her show, and he knows Daddy earned a shirt one of the times we were audience members and Paul got up there and shook his booty! And although my son didn’t understand all her jokes or references in her opening remarks, I didn’t have to worry that Ellen would use any words that weren’t child-friendly.
The day before we had driven north on Highland Avenue, had seen the large billboard of Ellen DeGeneres, had seen Hollywood Boulevard closed in preparation of the festivities that lie ahead. Yet, somehow Ryan was confused. He asked where the Oscars were happening. He didn’t quite comprehend that the ceremony was being held minutes from our house. In a way, it did seem like a different world. Never do we usually see women dressed in such fancy gowns. And in our house, on-and-off rain means long-sleeves. We saw some women with no sleeves at all.
We saw actors with their moms (Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto). We saw sparkly dresses and fancy jewelry. The Oscars can be a night of excess. But Ryan and I focused on the celebratory nature. I told him that the Oscars are special awards people who work in movies can earn. We talked about how it takes so many people to make a movie.
The Oscars have made quite an impression with Ryan. We now play Oscars. He writes out the names of some of our family members, he speaks in his toy microphone listing all the “maybe winners,” he opens up a folded piece of paper, and reads the winner’s name to much applause and cheering from Mommy! And, the winner is presented with a “pretend Oscar.”
When it came time for the few acceptance speeches we did watch (we stopped watching the telecast less than an hour after it started), I pointed out to Ryan that the winners always thank a lot of people. A lot of people helped the one winner achieve his dreams. Movies require teamwork and cooperation and hard work.
Really anything difficult, anything worthy of hard work and great effort requires teamwork and cooperation and perseverance. These are important life lessons I want my son to learn. And, being the inherent teacher I am, I am always on the look-out for teachable moments. In our house, that includes the Super Bowl and the Oscars.