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And the Award Goes to...

I rarely go out to the movies. The idea of spending $8 for a ticket, not to mention the cost of popcorn and a drink, is just a little too much for me. I do however know the importance of supporting films in their first weekend, so I bite the bullet in a few cases and take myself to the movies.

The last movie I saw in the theater this season was The Pursuit of Happyness and I was truly inspired. Will Smith, who is already my main man in Hollywood these days, put on a great performance. I cried at the end, along with all of the other women (some men cried too, but they were more discreet about it) in the packed theater.

At that moment, I realized how powerful experiencing such a great message on the big screen really is. I keep telling my children I want to take them to see it, but we haven't had a chance yet.

"Mommy, was the movie THAT good?"

My oldest daughter seems to think that I over-exaggerate sometimes. Wonder why that is? (Smile)

"Of course it is, if Mommy is talking about spending money again to see it," my oldest son answers. He seems to think that I'm careful with my money. Wonder why? (LOL)

"You guys, it is really good, and Will Smith better get an Oscar!"

So, instead of preparing for my Monday writing day and getting our schoolwork together for the week, my family was watching the Academy Awards.

By now, I am used to the obscure film choices for Best Picture. What I love is seeing the kids' reactions when they learn that art directors, editors, and musicians win awards too.

"Mommy, why are those people lookin' like penguins?"

My youngest daughter couldn't believe that Happy Feet was nominated.

"Honey, this is how films are celebrated and Happy Feet was a great film — so I heard."

Okay, I admit it. I haven't seen Happy Feet. I...I just look forward to stuff on video because that way the baby can run around and we can pause the movie for bathroom breaks. It works for me.

Anyway, my youngest daughter was even more excited when the movie won the award for Best Animated Feature. She even pulled out her Happy Feet mask. I'm glad she managed to stay up long enough to see Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith, too. (After that, she lost her fight with sleep, and she was out.)

Happy Feet Niara

My younger son was not happy that we had to watch the boring Oscars.

"Mommy, can we PLEASE turn to Nick NOW?"

"No, this is just a commercial. The show isn't over yet."

After the animation category and the makeup category (he thought that was so cool), he went off to bed.

Imani, Kamari, and I anxiously waited up to see if Will would win. But before that, Imani had to grab a tissue because Jennifer Hudson won — a "reject" from American Idol, now holding an Oscar at the age of 25. That was pretty darn inspirational for my daughter.

"Mommy, I am so happy for her because she got rejected, still went for the big time, and is carrying home the gold."

(Pause...I'm patting myself on the back). I've shared with my daughter — because she's interested in the performing arts — that just because you don't get something that you thought you wanted doesn't mean that God doesn't have greater and bigger things for you. You just gotta get up quick after a fall and keep moving.

You all know that I like her, despite the pre-adolescent challenges. But, this was one of those great mom moments.

Needless to day, the Oscars go on for a long time, and my oldest son just couldn't hang out.

"Mommy, wake me up if Will Smith wins because I know his speech is going to be so cool."

"Ok, honey. I will."

I'm not sure why my daughter and I sat on the edge of our seats like we were Smith's distant relatives or neighbors or something, but we did.

When I saw all of the nominees for Best Actor, I got a little nervous. I told Imani that if he does lose, let it be to Forest Whitaker because he's had a steady career, even though it seems like no one knows who he is. In our family, we tend to pull for the underdog, and in many cases, we are disappointed. That night, we were a little bit of both — excited and disappointed.

The award goes to...Forest Whitaker. His speech was moving. He held himself together well, and we were happy. Of course, I was sad too, because if I were in the habit of being a fan of anyone, I would be a fan of Will Smith, and his entire family.

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