Originally posted at DC Metro Moms
Some families rally around college and professional sports. You know the type. They're the families where everyone watches ESPN, reads SI and can recite obscure statistics about Heisman winners and NFL/NBA/MLB Hall of Famers. Not the family I grew up in, and most likely, not the family my husband and I are creating. We don't really have a "bag" (music, art, drama, camping, scouting, pets, etc.) that unites us all in a common passion or hobby. What my siblings and I (and to a lesser extent, our spouses) do have in common is a love of movies, and in particular of the Academy Awards.
Since my brothers and sister are all at least 10 years older than I, I was the rare 8-year-old who got to stay up late on Oscar Sunday to watch the telecast. Some of our family's favorite memories are of watching the awards together, a feat which has never been easy with us being spread all over the U.S. for most of our adult lives. There was the year my sister Diana yelled "Oh My God!" and nearly fell off of the sofa when she saw a tan, long-haired and gorgeous Daniel Day-Lewis accept his trophy for "My Left Foot." She was apparently expecting someone who looked, well, a little more like the Christy Brown in the film. And then in 1999, there was an audible collective gasp, leading to immediate phone calls, when "Shakespeare in Love" beat "Saving Private Ryan" for Best Picture. Six years later, my brother and sister called to rub it in that "Crash" had topped "Brokeback Mountain," a film they deemed overrated.
Yeah, we're an Oscars-loving bunch, even in years when I'm the only one who's seen more than two of the nominated films or performances. So, every year, for more than a decade, my three siblings, our step-sister and I have participated in a family Oscar pool. I should disclose here that I've written about entertainment for 10 years -- my entire professional career -- and yet for many years my sister would beat me at the pool. It's a "closed" pool for now -- all work and friend pools must be done on the side. I think even our spouses at one point wondered if they were invited to participate, and now they all do -- last year Richard, a brother-in-law, even won!
So while this Sunday may not be a big event in your home the way,
say, Superbowl Sunday was, it definitely is to the 10 participants in
our family pool. We predict in 3-4 years, when the oldest of our
children are in their mid-teens, they'll want to chime in too. As for
me, I'll make sure to get the kids down extra early, so I can sit down
with all the print-outs of picks, keep my speakerphone nearby, and
watch as "The Oscar Goes to...," well, perhaps Daniel Day-Lewis again.
Only this time my sister's jaw won't drop.