In the span of less than a week, here are a few things that happened in the life of Parker Curry, age 2:
- Last Thursday, she was photographed totally in awe of Michelle Obama’s new portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
- Over the weekend, the photo went viral. The world fell in love with Parker, with many hoping the two could meet.
- On Tuesday, they did.
And they danced.
“Parker, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today,” Obama wrote on Instagram. “Keep on dreaming big for yourself…and maybe one day I’ll proudly look up at a portrait of you!”
Parker, whose mom, Jessica Curry, is a lifelong District resident, displayed some impressive moves dancing with Obama to her favorite song, Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.”
Of course, the Internet went insane.
Chelsea Clinton, who tweeted the photo on Monday night, responded almost instantly.
And here’s the photo that started it all:
Parker’s mother wasn’t immediately available to describe the moment, referring an inquiry to a public relations firm — thus confirming Parker’s big-time status.
Later in the day, after Parker had taken a nap, Curry explained how the meeting happened. She said that Obama’s staff reached out to her a couple days ago and invited the family for a visit at her office. They spent about 45 minutes together.
“She was so unbelievably generous with her time,” Curry said. “She’s everything I thought she would be and more — classy, elegant, so down to earth.”
During the fun and dancing, Parker offered the same assessment of Obama that she did after seeing the portrait.
“She’s a queen,” she said.
The last few days have been a whirlwind for Parker and her family.
On Thursday, Curry took Parker and her 1-year-old sister, Ava, to the National Portrait Gallery to see the new paintings of the Obamas.
Parker is a big fan of Michelle Obama. Earlier in her short life, after watching Obama dance on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Parker declared she, too, would like to dance with the former first lady.
At the gallery, Parker was so entranced by the portrait, staring up at with her mouth wide open, that she wouldn’t turn around to her mom for a photograph. This was precisely the moment Parker’s life would change forever.
Ben Hines, a 37-year-old from North Carolina, was standing nearby to the side and watched the moment unfold. He took out his cellphone and snapped a photo of Parker in total amazement. He tried to find Parker and her mom later, but couldn’t, so he posted the photo on Facebook, hoping the Internet would connect them.
Oh, it did.
The photo quickly went viral. And, eventually, someone tagged Curry on Hines’s Facebook post.
“This is what America is all about,” tweeted an Atlanta man. “This young girl can now dream about being someone like Michelle Obama.”
The striking portrait of Obama — in a long, flowing dress against a light blue background — was painted by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, who was chosen by the former first lady.
At her portrait’s unveiling last month, Obama said she was thinking of young girls — and girls of color, “who in the years ahead will come to this place and see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of a great American institution. . . . And I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives because I was one of those girls.”