It has been the long-awaited special for Real Housewives of New Jersey fans, and the first part of RHONJ: Teresa Checks In did not disappoint. In the emotional first part of the three part special, camera crews check in with the Giudice family, who have been trying to live their life with Teresa Giudice in prison, completing a 15 month sentence. I learned a lot from the special, but one thing I will take away is the strength the entire family has adopted to get through this time. Specifically, the strength 14-year-old Gia, who struggles with Teresa's incarceration, has shown during the time her mother is away.
If you've watched RHONJ from the beginning, then you probably feel as if the Giudice children have grown up in front of your eyes. I, for one, remember when Gia was her younger sisters' age. But now, Gia is old enough to not only understand what is going on with her parents' sentencing, but also help support her family in her mother's absence. In the special, Gia says that Teresa tells Audriana that "she is working," while she's away. According to Gia, Milania and Gabriella think that as well. Gia says that it's true, her mom is working, as she is keeping a diary while in prison, with a plan to write a book when she gets out.
As you can tell, the subject manner for the special is one of the last things a 14-year-old should be familiar with. But as Gia says, she's very mature for her age. It's very obvious that with her mother gone, Gia has probably grown up a lot. But that doesn't mean she doesn't struggle with it.
In the first part of the special, Gia is heading to her 8th grade dance and graduation. While getting ready for the dance, Teresa calls. While talking to her mother, with her entire family surrounding her, Gia starts to get choked up and begins to cry. Teresa tells Gia to not cry around "Nonno and Nonna" (her parents), which Gia later explains is because Teresa doesn't want them to know how her absence affects the daughters. Plus, Teresa's father, Nonno, isn't in great health.
As if that weren't heartbreaking enough, Teresa asks tearful Gia if she's already gotten her make-up done. Gia can't even voice the words, so she asks Gabriella to tell her mom that "her make-up is not on," because Gia doesn't want her mom to know that she's crying in her make-up on the day of her 8th grade dance.
A similar situation occurs when Gia graduates 8th grade, noting that her mom is missing from the celebrations. It's very sad to see Gia aware of what is happening around her. She clearly struggles with the situation, but who wouldn't? What's more important to note is the strength she has. She seems to be persevering during the tough time. She also seems to be a point of strength for her dad and her sisters, something that we all know her mom would love to see.