My Miss Connecticut pageant nanny.

This is my nanny:

photo (1)
Photo provided by E. Wong

And this is Miss Bloomfield 2013:

Photo provided by E. Wong

Liz Wong is the current Miss Bloomfield and on Saturday she will be competing for Miss Connecticut  as part of the Miss America organization.  [Not to be confused with Erin Brady the Miss Connecticut who was recently crowned Miss USA.]  Liz is our nanny.

When I first met Liz I  knew that she was in the Miss America pageant organization; it was one of the first things she told me because it would affect her ability to work some parts of the year.  Her participation in the pageant intrigued me; all I knew about pageants were the stereotypes everyone else knows.  Blond bimbos, fake boobs, no brain cells, no real ambition.  I didn’t even know how to SPELL pageant.  I also know that I’m the farthest thing from pageant material since…well, since ever.  Boy, was I wrong about all my stereotypes.  I didn’t realize at the time that Liz’s pageant experience would be an asset to her work with our daughters.   She has taught our girls (and us) exactly what it means to be a “pageant girl”.

Every night before bed we tell both girls that they are “beautiful, smart, and strong” and occasionally will ask them how they know it.  Liz is the epitome of beautiful, smart, and strong; and not to make her sound arrogant, but I’m pretty sure she knows it.  As Liz, and as her superhero persona “Miss Bloomfield”, she exudes confidence and poise.  She has been an amazing role model for Lovey and Kitten.  Liz graduated from Oberlin in May 2012  with a degree in Philosophy and  Law.  She has volunteered for Special Olympics as a volleyball coach, she spoke at the Red Dress for Woman luncheon in Hartford this winter to share her heart health platform, and Monday she spoke to Lovey’s preschool class about heart health and exercise.

We have been blessed to have Liz care for our children this year and we were all deeply sad as the days crept closer to her “unofficial” last day June 7th.  Liz took a hiatus from duties to prepare for Miss Connecticut but she will be back next week (hopefully wearing a crown) to help us transition to the new house before she spends the rest of the summer prepping for a move to Chicago to attend law school (I told you she was smart.).  I honestly had no idea how difficult it would be to say goodbye to her.  I think I just saw her as someone who was performing a service for us.  It stupidly didn’t occur to me that after spending that much time with someone in your home they become a part of your family, but she did.  There was a recent incident where a contractor at our house made some inappropriate comments to Liz while she was home with the girls.  Honey was livid.  He was as protective of Liz as he would have been if Lovey or Kitten were in a similar situation.  After that moment it became clear, we have a third daughter.  I’ve talked to Liz about her law school application process, her relationships, her friendships, and she has seen me at my best and also totally frazzled as I try to rush out the door in the morning so I’m not late for work.  Again.  She even knows how I like the dishwasher loaded.

So it was Friday two weeks ago that Liz and I spent the day holding back tears.   She told me I couldn’t cry, I told myself I couldn’t cry.  Lovey and Kitten were doing enough crying for the both of us.  Kitten apparently held onto Liz so tight before her nap that Liz had to pry her fingers off her shirt to set Kitten down.  Lovey sobbed for what seemed like hours until I said “You know that Liz is coming back to see us in two weeks, right?”  I spent that weekend preparing them for the temporary nanny to come.  Kitten spent the weekend saying “No nanny, Yiz come back”.  Lovey told me she likes the new nanny and has fun with her, but still wants Liz to come back.  I guess they consider Liz a member of the family too.

We have a thank you dinner planned for Liz next week and we will make plans for her to come to the new house to visit and play.  We have a special good luck surprise ready to send her before Saturday’s Miss Connecticut pageant finals.  We know that even though she is moving to Chicago we will definitely be keeping in touch with her.  It’s not everyday you have a daughter heading off to law school.  In the meantime, I hope you will join me in wishing Liz the best of luck on Saturday.  Even though I am too young to be her mother it is with a maternal sense of pride that I support her in her quest to become the next Miss Connecticut.  If it were up to Honey, Lovey, Kitten and me she would have already won.






6 thoughts on “My Miss Connecticut pageant nanny.

  1. Awwww…ya made me cry. Very poignant. I am a Miss A fan from waaaay back, having spent many summers in Atlantic City. It was always a really big deal. My sister and I would get the official pageant book and rate each contestant and pick our top 10. Then we watched the show on TV together, via long-distance phone! We never imagined stopping this annual tradition, but then, unfortunately, it morphed into something else a couple of years ago and now they aren’t even going to sing The Song any more, I read (“There She Is, Miss America”)! It’s still a great opportunity for young women to get scholarships, though. Anyone remember Vonda Kay Van Dyke, whose talent was ventriloquism? Or Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, who did a Hawaiian dance? I didn’t think so.

    1. My mom and I have watched the Miss America pageant for years as well. In my 20s I even had a viewing party. I do definitely remember Kaye Lani and the Hawaiian dance.

  2. I love this post. She is so beautiful on the outside and sounds like she is that and more on the inside. I also love it that your little one calls her “Yiz!”

  3. Awwww!!! I LOVED this. I will admit- I would have had reservations about hiring a “pageant girl” as a nanny. Your story has really changed that view for me. I have to never again watch that TLC show about the moms of the little girls in pageants, because that’s what I thought it was ALL about!! Liz seems like an amazing, beautiful girl, inside and out. She seems like she has been an excellent role model for your girls, and for many other girls as well!! Best wishes to her in law school!!

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