They’ve been there before. Former first daughters Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager wrote a touching letter to Malia and Sasha Obama as the teens’ father, President Barack Obama, prepares to leave office after eight years.
In the note, the Bush sisters — who lived in the White House during former President George W. Bush’s two terms — recall the time they gave Malia, 18, and Sasha, 15, a tour of their new home when President Obama, 55, won the election in 2008.
“We saw both the light and wariness in your eyes as you gazed at your new home,” the fraternal twins, 35, wrote in the letter, which was published by TIME on Thursday, January 12. “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 8-year-olds and again as 20-year-olds chasing our youth, your joy and laughter were contagious.”
Texas natives Barbara and Jenna went on to applaud the accomplishments of Malia and Sasha, who were born in Chicago, during their time in Washington, D.C.
“You traveled to Liberia and Morocco with your mom, [First Lady Michelle Obama,] to talk with girls about the importance of education — girls who saw themselves in you, saw themselves in your parents, saw who they could become if they continued to study and learn,” the Bush women continued. “We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease. And through it all you had each other. Just like we did.”
They also told Malia and Sasha that their eight years in the White House will follow them their whole lives, writing, “Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children — 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 and Jenna concluded their letter by wishing the Obama sisters success as they transition back into their normal lives. “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,” they wrote. “And so will we.”
As previously reported, President Obama gave his farewell address at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago on Tuesday, January 10. During a Wednesday appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, FLOTUS, 52, opened up about her husband’s emotional speech ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
"It is [getting emotional]. It's nuts. I feel like crying right now. I didn't think that it was going to be that emotional because it's like, 'Yeah, we're ready. Yeah, we're good. It's been eight years. Eight years is enough. We're packing up,'" Michelle explained. "But no, it has been surprisingly emotional for all of us in ways that we didn't expect."
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