TAMPA, Fla. — The stories of how President George H.W. Bush impacted the lives of so many people continue to be told this week. Now, a Tampa baby and her family have one of their own.
- 5-month-old Sienna Collett at U.S. Capitol on Tuesday
- Sienna held by President George W. Bush
- More Good News stories
Cameras caught photos of 5-month-old Sienna Collett in the arms of 41's son, President George W. Bush, at the U.S. Capitol rotunda Tuesday, where the elder Bush was lying in state.
Sienna is currently teething, so she was more concerned with her pacifier than a photograph in that moment, according to her mother, Brittan. But her mother said it was a moment she wanted her daughter to experience.
“I hope for that moment, in all of that sadness, his family’s sadness, that maybe holding a baby brought just a brief moment of happiness for him," Brittan explained. "I know it’s a big say, but hopefully it did."
A bittersweet coincidence
When she found out she was heading to Washington D.C. for a work conference, Brittan brought her daughter and asked her mother to tag along. While there, she wanted to pay her respects to the former president, George H.W. Bush.
“We stood in line and you know that could’ve gone either way," she said. "It could’ve been really bad if she needed If she needed a diaper change or to be fed, because we were out in the cold. But she was a trooper."
Once Sienna was fed and changed, Brittan said it was a matter of minutes before the former president and his family walked inside. It’s something she said she didn’t expect.
“The twins came to see her, and then Laura Bush came to see her, and then he came around and he didn’t say much — he just came straight for her and opened up his arms for her, so I handed her over to him and that was that,” she said. “I asked him if I could take a picture and he smiled, and I said, 'I’m so sorry for your loss' and he said 'thank you' and that was it.”
A number of firsts
The trip was a number of firsts for this five month old. It was her first plane ride, the first time in Washington D.C., and first time being held by a former president.
Brittan said for years her and her husband tried to have a baby. She says now that their bundle of joy is here, she’s hoping to continue to make memorable moments like this one.
Brittan said she was born and raised in Texas, so she had a long standing love for the Bush family as both state and national leaders. She says Sienna isn’t in daycare, so she can’t show off the picture to any of her friends there.
However, she plans to add the picture to her baby book and save the conversation about the moment for a few years down the road.