Almost immediately after finding out that she was a candidate for Homecoming Queen, Grace decided that her escort in the Homecoming assembly would be Esther (the sheep). Traditionally Roy High Homecoming candidates are presented to their peers in an assembly the Friday before Homecoming Week. As a part of the presentation, candidates choose someone to be their escort. Most candidate choose a father, a younger sibling, or a significant other. Grace chose a sheep.
Friday morning started for Grace with a 6:00 a.m. hair and makeup appointment down the street at Sandy’s house where Tawny and Kate made her look like the princess she is. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my Dad and I loaded Esther and her supply train (red collar, red tie, hay, grain, bucket, shovel, mop, etc….) into the back of the truck. Lance took the day off school and Miles missed his morning classes. Readying royalty is a family affair.
I had reservations about Esther appearing on stage--the only thing predictable about animals is their unpredictability--but she performed admirably during the rehearsal. On a leash, she walked docily (one might say sheepishly) beside Grace onto the stage, followed obediently, and exited quietly. Too quietly.
Esther loves Grace. LOVES Grace. When separated from Grace she bleats longingly and loudly. When with Grace she is quiet and content. “It is adorable when she baaaa’s” Grace said. And then she devised a plan to make Esther baaaa…..
According to the new plan, Grace and Esther would enter the stage from the center, turn and walk stage left 10 steps. So far, so good. That is what all of the candidates and their escorts did. Then, according to the make-Esther-baaa plan, a student body officer would come out of the wings, take the leash, and hold Esther while Grace walked alone the length of the stage, to the other side, where she would turn and baaaa to Esther. The student body officer would release Esther and Esther, hearing Grace’s call, would baaaa in response and trot obediently across the stage to rejoin Grace on stage right.
A live sheep let loose on a stage in front of hundreds of noisy teens…. What could go wrong?
Well…..probably a hundred things could go wrong but nothing did. Everyone, including Esther, performed perfectly. As planned, Grace gave the leash to the SBO and walked alone across the stage. Esther watched in confusion and consternation. “Baaaaaa” she called to a retreating Grace. Grace turned, extended her hand and “baaaaa-ed” back. The SBO dropped the leash and Esther trotted across the stage to her soulmate. Amazing. And awesome.
Also awesome was the roar of the crowd when Grace was announced as a Homecoming candidate. Her friends noised...lots. The cheers were long and loud. She beamed on stage and I cried in the crowd. Okay, I did not really cry but I did tear up. I was so happy for my “little girl”. What an incredibly wonderful experience for her---one whose glow will last forever. No matter who wins the Homecoming Queen title, indeed no matter what happens in the future forever, nothing can take those moments and memories from her. Priceless.
Wanna know who is the 2017 Roy High Homecoming Queen? Me too!!! Students voted for Homecoming Queen after the assembly but the results will not be announced until the Homecoming game next Friday. Sadly (VERY SADLY) I will be in northern California next Friday facilitating a field trip for 53 Ogden Preparatory students. If you go to the Homecoming game you will know before I do. If you go to the Homecoming game, please text me the results. A texted photo would be nice too…...