Jenna and Barbara Bush (35), daughters of America’s 43rd President – George W. Bush – handed a letter of advice to the soon-to-become former first children, Malia and Sasha Obama, counselling them on how to face life after their father’s presidency.
The twins are not new to life after the White House. Thus, they have a lot of advice to dish out to the outgoing president’s daughters.
The letter reads:
In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much. You stood at the gates of the Robben Island cell where South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades, your arms around your father.
You traveled to Liberia and Morocco with your mom 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.
You attended state dinners, hiked in national parks, met international leaders and managed to laugh at your dad’s jokes during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon, all while being kids, attending school and making friends.
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.
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.
Never forget the wonderful people who work at the White House. Our greeter as 7-year-olds at our grandfather’s Inauguration was Nancy, the White House florist, who ushered us in from the cold. She helped us make colorful bouquets of winter flowers for our grandparents’ bedside.
Twenty years later, Nancy did the flowers for Jenna’s wedding. Cherish your own Nancy. We stay in touch with our Secret Service. They were part of growing up for us: there for first dates, first days and even an engagement and a honeymoon.
We know it wasn’t always easy—the two of you and the two of us were teenagers trailed by men in backpacks—but they put their lives on hold for us.
Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did. 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.
Continue to surround yourself with loyal friends who know you, adore you and will fiercely protect you. Those who judge you don’t love you, and their voices shouldn’t hold weight. Rather, it’s your own hearts that matter.
Malia will go on with her gap year when her dad leaves office in some days time and will later attend Harvard University in the fall. Sasha, on the other hand, will remain with her parents in Washington, D.C., to complete her high school.
The twins’ letter of advice to the daughters of President Obama was published in full by Time magazine and it’s coming days before the Obama daughters will bid farewell to the White House.
Similarly in 2009, Malia and Sasha, now 18 and 15, respectively, were also introduced to the White House by the Bush twins, both with a personal tour and a letter.
The letter which was written in 2009 from the then 27-year-old Bush twins had advised the then 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha on how to stay in the White House, giving an insight of how they slide down the stairway of the White House solarium for fun and participated in all White House engagements and even in the travelling.
Their current letter to Malia and Sasha also highlights what the Obama sisters had done during the eight years of their dad’s presidency, ranging from standing with President Obama at the gates of the cell where Nelson Mandela was once imprisoned, to hiking in national parks, and traveling to Liberia and Morocco with their mom, First Lady Michelle Obama.
“We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease,” Jenna and Barbara Bush wrote.
As Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, we hope the two stunning ladies will take a leaf from the advice.