The last night of the grandkids grand visit was spent watching the Oscars, an annual ritual my wife particularly looks forward to. It was the usual drama and melodrama, notched up yet higher by that strange and unexpected Shakespearean slap. Wars have started for less.
As a lifelong movie buff, I appreciate the effort to honor the work of these artists and thank them for their dedication, mastery of their craft and hard, hard work. What I don’t love is the overblown spectacle of it all, the over-the-top gowns and suits, the glitzy stage and schmaltzy music. But hey, that’s Hollywood. It would be interesting to hold it some day in a modest high school auditorium— but that ain’t gonna happen.
My two-year pandemic-delayed retirement party is happening in two weeks and though I won’t be walking away with a golden statuette, it feels appropriate for myself and my two fellow retirees being honored to have our lifetime work recognized and publicly valued, our own dedication, mastery of our craft and hard, hard work appreciated by the community. Just as I have honored and publicly appreciated all my fellow colleagues— and there have been many over my 45 years at school!— who have left or retired before me.
But it would be hard to top my personal moment of Oscar-like glory this morning. I awoke at 5:30 to drive my daughter Kerala and Zadie and Malik to the airport and met Malik in the hallway. We hugged good morning and he said,
“I wish I was staying for a month.”
Further down the hall, I hugged Zadie and even as a pre-adolescent 10-year old, she hugged me longer than usual and said,
“I don’t want to let go.”
No golden statue could be more meaningful than those two sentences.