In a heartwarming open letter to Sasha and Malia Obama, former first daughters Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager shared a bit of advice to the girls as they join “another rarified club, one of former First Children”.
“We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease,” the Bush sisters wrote in a letter to the Obama girls.
“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,” it said.
“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,” the Bushes wrote in their letter published yesterday in Time magazine.
The Bush daughters, who first became familiar with the White House during the presidency of their grandfather, George H W Bush, recalled returning to the executive mansion in 2008 as young women to show the Obama girls around.
They gave them a tour of bedrooms that once belonged to them and showed them how to slide down the banister of the solarium.
“In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much,” the Bush sisters write, noting Malia and Sasha’s meeting with Nelson Mandela in the cell where he was imprisoned for decades, as well as trips with their mother to Liberia and Morocco to speak with girls about the importance of education.
The Bush sisters stress to 15-year-old Sasha, and 18-year-old Malia, that there is much to look forward to, but urge them to keep close in their hearts the experiences of the past two terms.
One bit of advice was to stay in touch with those White House staff who made them feel at home and those who helped protect them.
As Malia prepares to attend college this fall at Harvard, while Sasha remains in Washington to finish high school, they encourage the sisters to enjoy this youthful period of their lives.
“And you won’t have the weight of the world on your young shoulders anymore. Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes – you are allowed to.”
“Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did,” they say, a nod to the much-reported brushes with the law both Bush twins experienced while drinking underage.
Most importantly, 35-year-old Jenna and Barbara urge the Obama sisters to continue surrounding themselves with loyal and fiercely protective friends.
“You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them,” the Bush sisters conclude in their letter.
“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.”