On Friday 20 January, Barack Obama and his family will leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C., the address that’s been their home for the last eight years. Upon moving out of the White House, the soon-to-be-former President’s two daughters will join a very exclusive club: that of former presidents’ children.
If you’re already feeling misty-eyed about the Obamas’ departure, it’s probably best to look away now. To mark the end of the reign of Malia and Sasha Obama, the ‘First Children’ who preceded them have shared photos from their very first visit to the White House – and they’re a serious trip down memory lane.
Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, the daughters of former president George W. Bush, gave Malia and Sasha a guided tour around the White House back in 2008. Now in their mid-30s, the twin Bush sisters told Today that they took time off from work to travel back to Washington D.C. to greet the Obama girls, who were just ten and seven when their father took office.
The photos show Malia and Sasha sliding down a ramp in one of the White House hallways, gazing open-mouthed around the majestic Lincoln Bedroom (once used by Abraham Lincoln as an office) and waving from the White House’s Truman Balcony – as well as kicking back gleefully in the house’s private movie theatre.
Speaking on the Today show, Jenna Bush Hager said that she and her twin sister have enjoyed “terrific” lives after the White House, and that she hopes Malia and Sasha will experience the same.
“It's just amazing how fast eight years go by and how they've become these really unbelievable women and we just wanted to make sure they knew,” she said.
The Bush sisters also wrote an emotional open letter to their successors in which they wished them well for the future. “Malia and Sasha, eight years ago on a cold November day, we greeted you on the steps of the White House,” they wrote in Time magazine. “We saw both the light and wariness in your eyes as you gazed at your new 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 8-year-olds and again as 20-year-olds chasing our youth, your joy and laughter were contagious.”
Malia Obama will soon be starting at Harvard University after finishing a gap year, and apparently has plans to pursue a career as a filmmaker after interning as a production assistant on the set of Lena Dunham’s Girls.
Sasha, meanwhile, has spent more than half of her life in the White House. She currently attends private school in Washington D.C. – and in what can only be described as a triumph for 15-year-old girls the world over, recently received fashion props on Instagram from Drake.
Images: Joyce N. Boghosian / White House Photo