I just never really thought about it. The thought never even crossed my mind. Sloane is obsessed with princesses and fairies, as most little girls are. You'd think, knowing that was the case, that I'd have been able to predict her reaction to the Homecoming Queen last night at the football game. But I didn't.
And it was one of the sweetest, most innocent moments I've witnessed in a long time.
At halftime, when the Homecoming festivities began, Sloane didn't really know what was going on. But after a few minutes, she inched closer and closer to the fence, and by the time the Queen was in mid-field, Sloane was completely transfixed on her. She said nothing. She didn't move. She just stood at the fence and stared through the people on the sidelines, watching the Queen and her every move.
After the ceremony, as the Homecoming Court walked to the far endzone for pictures, Sloane tugged on my shirt and said she wanted to go see the Queen. I looked around for Hunter, but couldn't find him. I figured he was safe with his new friend, Knox Dixon, so I walked Sloane down to the far end of the field near the concession stand. To be honest, I didn't think we would be able to get close to her, as the gate was closed. Just as I was about to break the news to Sloane, however, she pointed at a gap in the fence and darted over to it. Sure enough, it was wide enough for us to squeeze through.
We walked across the track and were almost into the grass in the endzone, when she froze. We were about 20 yards or so from the Queen, and Sloane just froze. I told her we could keep going, but she didn't budge. She just stood there, staring at the Queen in pure amazement.
As I watched her standing there, I couldn't help but wonder what she was thinking. What exactly goes through the mind of a 5-year old little girl when she finds herself a stone's throw away from a Queen? I suppose I'll never know, and that's fine by me. I captured the moment, and even if I hadn't, it was a site to behold.
It's so easy to try and control the situation and steer it in the direction you think or want it to go. But in this situation, I decided against it and just let her have her moment.
A beautiful one, at that.