In her new book, Becoming, Michelle told the story of watching a then-16-year-old Malia head off to the school function with “a boy she kind of liked.” Though first children are not supposed to travel in vehicles with anyone but Secret Service, Barack, 57, and Michelle, 54, made “an exception” to their security arrangement so that Malia could ride with her date.
“On the appointed evening, her date arrived in his car,” Michelle wrote, “clearing security at the southeast gate of the White House, following the path up and around the South Lawn by which heads of state and other visiting dignitaries normally arrived, and then gamely — bravely — walking into the Dip Room dressed in a black suit.”
Malia wasn’t thrilled about what the former POTUS and FOTUS were wearing. “‘Just be cool, okay?’ Malia had said to me and Barack, her embarrassment already beginning to smolder as we rode the elevator downstairs,” Michelle recalled in her memoir. “I was barefoot, and Barack was in flip-flops. Malia wore a long black skirt and an elegant bare-shouldered top. She looked beautiful and about twenty-three years old.”
Michelle and Barack adhered to Malia’s instructions. “Barack and I shook the young man’s hand, snapped a few pictures, and gave our daughter a hug before sending them on their way,” she revealed. “We took what was perhaps unfair comfort in the knowledge that Malia’s security detail would basically ride the boy’s bumper all the way to the restaurant where they were going for dinner before the dance and would remain on quiet duty throughout the night.”
The couple, who have been married 26 years, are also parents of Sasha, 17. Malia is now 20 and a sophomore at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.