The Bush Sisters Wrote A Touching Open Letter To Malia And Sasha Obama

obama family michelle sasha malia barack

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

When Barack Obama was first elected as President of the United States, his daughters Malia and Sasha were aged nine and six, meaning that they’ve spent just under and just over half their lives respectively living in the White House.

Now, after their father has served two terms in office, the Obama sisters are set to leave DC. Two women who can certainly empathise with what Malia and Sasha are probably feeling right now are Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush-Hager, who have written a moving open letter to the Obama sisters, offering up some advice as they join the ‘rarified club […] of former First Children.’

Published on Time, the letter opens with a sweet anecdote, detailing how Barbara and Jenna showed the younger Malia and Sasha around the White House for the first time: ‘To show you the Lincoln Bedroom, and the bedrooms that were once ours, to introduce you to all the people – the florists, the grounds-keepers and the butlers – who dedicate themselves to making this historic house a home. The four of us wandered the majestic halls of the house you had no choice but to move in to.’

‘When you slid down the banister of the solarium, just as we had done as eight-year-olds and again as 20-year-olds chasing our youth, your joy and laughter were contagious.’

obama family michelle sasha malia barack
George Bush with his wife and daughters ©Getty Images

Now, the Bush sisters note, Malia and Sasha have grown ‘from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease.’ Being a former First Child is, as they point out, ‘a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines. But you have so much to look forward to.’

‘You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years.’

Barbara, now the co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps, and Jenna, a correspondent for the Today show, go on to advise the Obamas to keep in touch with the people they met at the White House.

‘Never forget the wonderful people who work at the White House. Our greeter as 7-year-olds at our grandfather’s Inauguration was Nancy, the White House florist, who ushered us in from the cold […] Twenty years later, Nancy did the flowers for Jenna’s wedding. Cherish your own Nancy.’

obama family michelle sasha malia barack
The Obama family on election night, 2008 ©Getty Images

This also includes the Secret Service teams who were a constant presence throughout their father’s presidency. ‘We stay in touch with our Secret Service,’ they explain. ‘They were part of growing up for us: there for first dates, first days and even an engagement and a honeymoon. We know it wasn’t always easy – the two of you and the two of us were teenagers trailed by men in backpacks – but they put their lives on hold for us.’

Other pieces of advice include to ‘enjoy college,’ ‘explore your passions,’ ‘learn who you are’ and to ‘make mistakes – you are allowed to.’

To conclude, the Bush sisters reaffirm their support for the Obamas, revealing that they will be ‘rooting’ for them in their future endeavours.

‘You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who have never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines.’

‘Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.’

**Read their letter in full at Time. **

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