Friday, June 1, 2012

Gemma and Fancy Nancy

I cannot believe I forgot to document the day Gemma met Ms. Jane O'Connor (aka, the "Fancy Nancy" author). I am distraught. That's a fancy word for upset.

Many MANY months ago, I saw on our library homepage that they were offering a "Fancy Nancy Extravaganza" where they would host Ms. Jane O'Connor and exquisite activities and a reading of her new book and a little play. Since Gemma is in love with all things Fancy Nancy and can recite the first book, we were ecstatic. That's a fancy word for excited.

So I purchased two tickets for the exorbitant (that's fancy for a lot) amount of $10. (that's sarcastic, which is a fancy word for opposite) And then we waited. What was it going to be like? Would there be mobs of people? Nobody else we knew was going. Well, I figured, this would be an adventure. (that's a Sarah way of saying we don't know what's going to happen, but hopefully it will make for a good story later)

As the day approached, I began to really talk it up. For weeks Joel had been taking the older two skiing and Gemma was left with the abysmal (that's fancy for awful) job of staying home with me. But here was her reward. The night before our Fancy Nancy Party, Gemma giggled in her bed, "I can't wait. This is going to be so fun." All we really knew was that she was going to wear all of the fancy things she PUBLIC. Generally I limit her accessories to 5 or so. But on this day, on THIS DAY, she was going to show the world what it means to accessorize. That's a fancy word for adding extra sparkles. In fact, we were going the opposite of Chanel's advice (if it was, in fact, Coco's) and, rather, going to turn around in front of the mirror and then ADD SOMETHING ELSE.

The day dawned and WHY WAS I NERVOUS?! I mean honestly - I figured it was a glorified open house, right? Why was I jittery? Why was I getting emotional? What is it about mothering where you absolutely positively want your children to have the greatest experiences of their life and the fear of falling short of that terrifies me? And, conversely, the look of joy on their faces as they truly appreciate something makes me weep and clap and hiccup and swoon all at the same time.

Anyway, there we were, getting fancy. Well, Gemma was getting fancy. I'm the mom. And anyway, Gemma's fancy more than made up for my lack thereof.

And then we were off, driving to the little community arts center. As we approached, I could see other cars (ok phew, we're in the right place) and then some little girls and their moms (yay!) and then Gemma squealed, "THEY HAVE BALLOONS!!!!" Give a 3 year old a balloon and it's a party. But not only that, they had rolled out the red carpet - except that it was purple (and what Fancy Nancy would call fuchsia). As we parked and started walking, I looked down to see a determined Gemma - she was in her element. And then I looked up at some of the other girls walking in...

Um...did I miss something? Maybe they were shy that morning, or maybe they hadn't read the books, but some of these girls were wearing what we'd wear to church (which, by the way, doesn't involve sequins or feathers or pizazz). Gemma didn't care, probably because the girls turned and, when they saw her, said, "Oh you look so beautiful!" with a hint of envy. As we strolled the purple carpet, we saw some girls in tutus and some with tiaras and some with purses, but there were very few decked out like Gemma. Maybe that's why the event photographer followed her around for most of the time. As countless people commented on her extravagance (that's fancy for too many accessories), Gemma held her head a bit higher and I giggled a little bit more uncontrollably.
They had a photobooth and a craft station (make your own tiara) and cupcakes and pink lemonade. Being the wife of a designer, I had to appreciate the signage - they had thought of everything.
Then we funneled into the auditorium where they had a stage set up and Ms. Jane O'Connor came out.
First of all, she is so stinking adorable. She was a couple minutes into her introduction when she suddenly gasped and said, "I'm still wearing my purse! How embarrassing! Why don't I stay a while?!" Just really charming. She interacted with a bunch of the kids and then taught a few how to train to walk with correct posture and then read her newest book. Gemma sat riveted. Then a local theater company enacted the original "Fancy Nancy" book and then they had a giveaway. Under three seats in the auditorium was a doorprize certificate. Nope, we didn't have one. But a sweet woman in back of us, who had come to support her teenagers who were in the company, plucked hers from her seat and said, "I'm giving it to this fancy little girl!" and handed it to Gemma. Oh she was SO excited, and rightly so - it turned out to be a butterfly-wings set she could decorate herself. Which was wonderful since our three other pairs of wings are in varying states of disrepair.
After the show, we lined up to meet the author. Ms. Jane was phenomenal (that's fancy for wonderful-fantastic). She chatted with Gemma and signed our books and gave her a hug. When I told Gemma it was time to leave, she said, "I'm just going to stand here with Mrs. O'Connor for a wittle bit." When I tried to tell her she couldn't, Ms. Jane, looking over the top of her glasses, said, "Well...surely someone this fancy could stay just a little bit longer?" I'm not about to argue with the honored guest!
What a morning. Gemma has talked about our Fancy Nancy day countless times, since. She has thanked me a multitude (that's fancy for lots) of times. And to think, I was worried about whether or not she'd like it, whether it would live up to her expectations? We have a fabulous memory and I'm incredibly grateful that I have a girl big enough, but also small enough, to do these sorts of things!

(please excuse picture quality, since my phone doesn't take quality indoor photos...)


wanda said...

Help! It says the video is private and I can't watch it!

What a fun morning for you both!

laura said...

Aww, SO FUN! Glad you guys went and had a fabulous (that's a fancy word for great) time.

Becca said...

Oh I just love it. I actually started to get a lump in my throat cause I think about how happy Gemma must have been!