Like many parents of college-aged kids, Michelle and Barack Obama were secretly thrilled to have their grown daughters, Sasha, 19 and Malia, 22, quarantine at home with them this past year. They ended up with an additional houseguest when Malia’s boyfriend couldn’t go home and the Obamas agreed to house him too. So their empty nest filled up really quick. But according to Michelle, they couldn’t be happier, even though Sasha and Malia dominate the conversation. All the conversations.
Michelle Obama says she and former President Barack Obama have been happily getting an earful from daughters Sasha and Malia.
Speaking with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts on Wednesday, the former first lady shared her thoughts on future generations of young Americans, whom she has often described in inspiring terms — starting with her own kids.
“If you sit around the dinner table, me and Barack, we can’t get a word in edgewise and we like it like that,” said Mrs. Obama, 57. “We want to hear their thoughts and their opinions, and that’s where it begins.”
“I always have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on” and that “what I hope they learn is that who they are right now is enough,” she said of her girls.
Not one person reading this believes that former president Barack Obama is sitting there silent for any amount of time. The minute he thinks of some cheesy Dad Joke, he’s interrupting just to say it. And then he’s adding his own laugh track if no one else does. Also, and this is slightly off track, but I wonder if he’s one of those lawyer dads who makes Sasha and Malia cite their sources when they’re on a roll about some point or another (asks the child of a lawyer dad).
Michelle’s larger point is that both young ladies have been civically awakened and that’s why they encourage them to talk. Both Sasha and Malia marched in the protests that happened after George Floyd’s murder and they were very vocal about the election, in which they both voted last November. Of course Michelle is right. Children and young adults should always feel like they are allowed a voice and we should encourage them to use it. Once everyone listens to each other, that’s where the real work takes place.
I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how tuned in the young generation is to what is going on in the world. They need some education and some guidance, but they want to make things better and they are willing to work to get there. Michelle told GMA that she’s, “someone that is comfortable getting out of the way so that the next generation can take the seat that I’m sitting in,” and I am 100% with her. I have a lot of confidence in those kids dominating the dinner table conversation and I’m happy to step back and help them put that chatter into action.
Photo credit: Instagram