Jenna & Barbara Bush Sisters Write Letter to Malia & Sasha Obama
When Malia and Sasha Obama first arrived at the White House, they received advice from twins Jenna and Barbara Bush.
Back when the Obamas first moved into the White House, the Bush sisters wrote a letter to their successors.
Eight years later, the twin daughters of President George W. Bush have once again reached out to the Obama sisters. This time, they offered advice on another transition: leaving the White House and moving on to civilian life.
In the letter, Barbara and Jenna reminisce about meeting the then 7- and 10-year-old Obama girls at the White House. They gave them a tour of bedrooms that once belonged to them and showed them how to slide down the banister of the solarium.
“In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much,” the Bush sisters wrote. They noted Malia and Sasha’s meeting with Nelson Mandela in the cell where he was imprisoned for decades, as well as trips with their mother to Liberia and Morocco to speak with girls about the importance of education.
“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,” they wrote.
“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.”
They urge them to never forget the people who dedicated their lives to making the White House a history home — including the florists, the grounds-keepers and the butlers.
“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,” the Bush sisters write. “Twenty years later, Nancy did the flowers for Jenna’s wedding. Cherish your own Nancy.”
“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.”
“Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did,” they say, a nod to the much-reported brushes with the law both Bush twins experienced while drinking underage.
Most importantly, Jenna and Barbara urge the Obama sisters to continue surrounding themselves with loyal and fiercely protective friends.
“Those who judge you don’t love you, and their voices shouldn’t hold weight. Rather, it’s your own hearts that matter,” they say.
“You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them,” the Bush sisters conclude in their letter. “You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.”