I love watching award shows.
I love the all snazzed-up celebrities in their designer finery jammed together on the red carpet like hogs in an 18 wheeler. I love watching the ladies teetering on unrealistic heels wearing skin tight satin gowns in the blazing Los Angeles sunshine while they attempt to look poised and glamorous in front of the cameras. I love seeing the sea of men in identical black tuxedos and hyper-coiffed hair giving the impression of a mass-produced celebrity. But most of all I love the crazies; the celebrities who use awards shows to be cutting edge, outrageous or flamboyant only to have it go oh, so wrong for them. I love the worst dress list! It’s all ridiculously fabulous.
I also love the acceptance speeches. I find it fascinating to see who tries to be self deprecating, who forgets to thank their spouse and who decides to try to talk over the music. I like to compare the prepared, those who try to read an impossibly long list of names off a badly crumbled piece of paper, with the unprepared, those who just ‘wing it.’
As I watch these shows I sometimes fantasize about my acceptance speech, the speech I would make at something like this. I often joke about The Parent of the Year Award, as in "That move would never have won me The Parent of the Year Award" but what if there was really such a thing? What would you say? Who would you thank?
Since there is no such thing as The Parent of the Year Award (thank you Jesus!), and if there was I would hardly be a candidate, I will never have the chance to experience the swanky gowns and glittery jewels of the Red Carpet. Sigh. So, I guess this will have to do. Right here, in my chilly basement, right now, in my purple paisley flannel pjs and ratty old hoodie I give you my acceptance speech.
Oh, thank-you, thank-you. This is such a surprise. I am so honoured (the fake shock and false humility are the backbone to all good acceptance speeches) The road from parenthood to this platform has been a long one and it encompasses so much more than just this past year. I would like to thank all the random cute babies I have seen over the years, thank you for being sweet and adorable and for suckering me into wanting a baby of my own. Thank you to all of my friends who became parents before me, thank you for trying to warn me, for encouraging me to enjoy my sleep-ins, solitude and proper hygiene while I could. Sorry I didn't take you seriously and I forgive you for saying "I told you so." I deserved it.
Thank you to all my babiless, single friends for sharing all of their unsolicited, unhelpful advice at moments of peak stress, that was really ... awesome. Thank you to the lady in the check out line for judging me harshly while my two year old had a meltdown, and to the librarian who questioned why my three year old doesn't know how to spell his own name yet and to the Sunday School teacher who admonished me for the inappropriate words my toddler was saying in class. Thank-you to my mother-in-law who inevitably calls whenever the kids are screaming, fighting or having a tantrum and of course, I would like to thank my mother for saying so many times, "I hope one day you have kids just like you!"
But most of all, I would like to thank my children for pushing me to the brink of sanity each and every day. For challenging my self control and mental fortitude on a moment by moment basis. For asking me countless answerless questions first thing in the morning, for volunteering me to bake, craft and supervise at an array of school functions ... without telling me until the night before. Thank you for constantly leaving a natural disaster category mess is your wake everyday, without it to clean up I may be forced to find something else like, reading or writing, to fill my time.
Seriously ... thank you for making me stop to literally smell the flowers, even if they are only dandelions. Thank-you for pointing out the colour of the sky, the sound of the birds and the warmth of the sunshine.Thank-you for reminding me every day that life is meant for joy, adventure and love. Thank you for making me into the mother you need me to be.