Speed Reads

saying goodbye to the obamas

In a letter, the Bush sisters offer advice and encouragement to Sasha and Malia Obama

Next week, Malia and Sasha Obama will leave the White House and join a small club comprising the children of former presidents. Two members — Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager — are already reaching out to welcome them.

In a letter posted on Time, the Bush twins recalled meeting the Obama sisters eight years ago, showing them the Lincoln Bedroom and introducing the girls to the florists, butlers, landscapers, and other people who make the White House a home. "The four of us wandered the majestic halls of the house you had no choice but to move in to," the twins wrote. "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."

Over the last eight years, as Malia and Sasha attended state dinners, went on hikes in national parks, and took a trip to Africa with Michelle Obama to talk with girls about the importance of education, "we have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease," the letter says. "And through it all, you had each other. Just like we did." The Obama girls have "lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House," Bush and Bush Hager wrote, having to listen to "harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them." The president and first lady will "be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter," the letter ends. "And so will we."