PlayDates and Politics

I am reading Barack Obama’s letter to his daughters and, of course, tearing up.

My son, peering over my shoulder, asks me about Malia and Sasha and wants to know “Can we go to their house and play with them? It would be fun.”

I try to explain that I am sure the President will be busy with work and the girls have school, but this does not deter the 5-year old who says, “but we can just go on a not school day, and maybe it’s ok if their Dad isn’t there.”

I again tried to put into words how their lives will change and how they may not be able to have a playdate with the Vest kids…but he just sort of looked at me blankly.

How do you explain this sacrifice to a child?

I think, in the letter, Obama says it best,

“I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.”

I don’t know any parent who does not feel the same, but not all are willing to do what Barack and Michelle have done.

Thank you Obama family, for missing playdates…and then some.


  1. I knew one young girl who, back in the day, wrote a letter to Mary-Kate and Ashley and was eagerly awaiting their response.

    I was no less practical; our elementary school class had to interview someone, so I wrote the White House and asked for an interview with Nixon. He declined.

  2. At least Nixon was classy enough to decline and let it go at that. Had it been Clinton, you would have been asked to send a headshot and your measurements.

  3. Awww… How sweet that your son wants to play with the Obama girls.

    That letter is phenomenal.

  4. May he remember what he wrote when it comes time to either put the military in harm’s way or try and try and try again to negotiate. Because every life is connected to another and should never to treated will less than how we treat our own.


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