After a whirlwind weekend at the Grand Opening of our 43 GiGi’s location in Charlotte North Carolina, GiGi still managed to unpack and get herself ready for school. As she was leaving for school, she said: “Can I go to the board meeting tonight after my work out?” The girl is a go-getter! She loves to be a part of everything GiGi’s. It reminded me of the old days when I would bring her to the board meetings in her stroller, cheerios on hand to keep her quiet, while we feverishly tried to change the world! I remember being so afraid of failing. Failing as a mother, an advocate, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. How could I be everything to everybody and still build a platform where GiGi and all her friends can have a voice in this world?
These days GiGi does not need cheerios and is using her voice every chance she gets! At every #GenerationG book signing event she signs every book with a personal message and it seems she always knows just what to say. At the opening in Charlotte this weekend, she had a long line, but still insisted on writing a personal message in every book. The more I rushed her, the slower she wrote! Again, teaching me that it is the little things that make all the difference in life. She always writes “My mom wrote this for me, I hope you love it.” Then comes something personal. You have pretty hair, you are a nice mom, your baby is so cute, my mom is crazy! (yes, that is what happened when I rushed her!) etc.… Anyway, she always seems to know what people need to hear. In a book she was signing for a new baby girl, she wrote: “you have a great family, I love your dad.” That seems nice but what you don’t know is how badly those words were needed. GiGi saw how hard that baby girl’s dad hugged me, she saw the tears he had in his eyes, petrified that he will not be able to do right by his new baby daughter and thanking us for showing him the way. When it comes to people’s feelings she doesn’t miss a thing. In another book she wrote, “I am so happy you are OK now, you are my favorite.” The mother read the words GiGi wrote to her young son and just broke down and hugged the book. Again, what you do not know is that her son had just finished three years of leukemia treatments, and in usual GiGi form, it was signed with the famous signature Love GiGi and three hearts.
She wants to spread love, joy, and inspiration where ever she goes.
I would like to say she is unaware of the incredible effect she has on people, but since she now refers to herself as “The GiGi” when introducing herself, I think she knows she is kind of a big deal! She does this half-jokingly and because she wants to irritate her brother and sisters and say she is famous and mom’s favorite! That’s how she rolls! But this hasn’t come easy! We have been on the road since she was a baby, weekends, nights, whenever! And then right back to school, workouts, boyfriends, and life!
This year we have been blessed by some celebrity support. Luke Bryan at our Nashville Gala, Bret Michaels perform live at our Scottsdale gala, and Vivica A. Fox hosted our national gala. This weekend, Luke Kuechly, one of the best linebackers in the NFL, attended the GiGi’s Charlotte opening. For hours he was taking pics, talking with families and just being appreciative of life. We have NBA players like Justin Jackson fighting for our kids and wearing GiGi’s Playhouse shoes to a game! Slowly and methodically we have built our platform and all we can do is continue to move forward and invite more people to join our quest of acceptance for ALL!
I have prayed for God to send us a celebrity spokesperson, someone with a huge platform who will visit our locations and help us get our message out there to the masses. Maybe that person I have been praying for is the person who has been doing it with me every day since the day she was born…