Obama has referred to Malia as one of his best friends.
On one of his recent trip to Chicago, the US president walks out of Air Force One, with his arm around Malia as she brightly smiles – walking through the drizzling rain.
Obama is growing wistful as Malia’s high school graduation comes just in a month’s time. The 17-year-old will soon move away. The White House has reported that she will join Harvard in 2017 after breaking for a year. Someone close to her said that the president’s daughter is yet to decide on what she will handle in the months that she will be free from books.
“Probably the thing I’m most proud of is, mainly as the assistant to Michelle Obama, I’ve raised two daughters who are amazing and I’m really, really proud of,” Obama told a group of college reporters visiting the White House last month. “And being able to do that while still focused on my job I think is something I’ll look back on and appreciate.”
Any parent is always anxious when sending their children into the world. For the Obama’s, the departure of Malia’s childhood will coincide with the arc of Obama. When Malia came into the White House, she was in fifth grade and twisted hair. Now at the time she is leaving, she is about 6 feet and fashion magazines are keenly following her choice of dressing.
“She’s got her own mind,” the president said at a town hall last year, where he admitted to getting weepy on the first day of her senior year at Sidwell Friends School.
The president has been so keen on fatherhood. Having been raised without a father, the former U.S Senator has done his best to rewrite the history. Before becoming a president, he would fly between Chicago and Washington. After becoming the president, he said that he was happy that he could now spend time with his family under the same roof.
“I imagine watching Malia go off to college will be as emotional – if not more emotional – than the moment he leaves the White House next year,” said Joshua DuBois, a former assistant to Obama who became the president’s friend and a spiritual adviser. “The first lady may have to squeeze his hand extra tight.”
“When I was first elected to this office, Malia was 10. And Sasha was just 7. And they grow up too fast. This fall, Malia heads off to college,” he said. “And I’m starting to choke up, so I’m going to wind down and say my remarks. I can’t do it; it’s hard.”
Obama may be steeling about the college departure by Malia but he confirmed to Ellen DeGeneres that “she is ready.” She has no qualms at all.