It’s been over a month since former President Barack Obama his wife Michelle Obama helped their 19-year-old daughter Malia settle into campus life at Harvard University. And the 44th commander-in-chief recently revealed that it was quite the emotional rollercoaster.
“For those of us who have daughters, it just happens fast. I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill [Biden] that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery,” Obama, 56, revealed at the Bea Biden Foundation’s golf and tennis invitational at Delaware’s Wilmington Country Club.
“I was proud that I did not cry in front of her,” he continued. “But on the way back, the Secret Service was off, looking straight ahead, pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.”
While it broke his heart to see his eldest child leave the nest, the father of two said experience was “a reminder that, at the end of our lives, whatever else we’ve accomplished, the things that we’ll remember are the joys that our children – and hopefully way later, our grandchildren – bring us.”
Malia graduated from Washington D.C.’s private school Sidwell Friends in June 2016 and opted to take a gap year before starting her postsecondary studies. During her time off, the former First Daughter joined her mum Michelle, 53, and her younger sister Sasha, 16, on a trip to Africa and Spain where they promoted their Let Girls Learn initiative. And earlier this year, Malia interned for famed film producer Harvey Weinstein in New York.
It’s safe to say that Barack and Michelle have raised two lovely daughters, and during his farewell speech as president in January 2017, the politician couldn’t stop gushing about how proud he is to be their dad. "Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion,” he said. “You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I've done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”