Today's a big day, in case you're forgetting (silly you). Today is when Americans decide who will be president for the next four years. Amid all the budget balancing (or lack thereof), bill signing, taxing the pants off people, war mongering, and world peace fostering, one of the little-known things Presidents of the United States do is for babies. And I'm not talking about kissing them on the campaign trail (though they do that a lot too). I'm talking about sending them cards when they arrive in this crazy world.
Oh, you didn't know presidents did that sort of thing? Yes, yes they do. Not just current presidents, either. Former presidents will oblige too. But you have to ask them.
And so, shortly after our daughter was born last November, my husband and I wrote to all five living U.S. presidents announcing her birth in the hopes that they'd send us their blessings. And one by one, each of them did.
Our little Sophie now has cards and letters welcoming her into the world from Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. And she's just tickled pink -- er, red, white, and blue about it.
Yeah, the last part isn't really true, since she's only 11 months old. She does like to rifle through them, though -- she just loves shuffling papers. What can I say? Chip off the old block.
Anyway. Even though a couple were form letters and they were all similar, there was something very touching about opening and reading each of these wishes to our little girl from five of the most powerful men in the world. Most look to have actually been signed by them, too. So I thought I'd share what they said to her -- and clue you in to this possibility for your own future babies, since I'm betting most of you didn't know you could do this!
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama: Welcome to the world! Your arrival is a cause for great celebration for your proud family. We wish you a long and happy life filled with chances to learn, ideas to explore, people to love, and dreams to fulfill. Sincerely, Barack Obama & Michelle Obama
President George W. Bush: Welcome to the world! Your arrival has brought great joy to your proud family and the many others who already care so much about you. Each day will offer you wonderful new adventures as you grow and learn. Mrs. Bush and I wish for you a life of love, happiness, and the opportunity to achieve your dreams. We send our warmest thoughts to you and your parents. George Bush
President Bill Clinton: Dear Sophie: Congratulations on the wonderful occasion of your birth. Your arrival on November 21, 2011, gives all those who love you cause for great celebration, and I'm delighted to welcome you to our world. As you grow, I wish for you a long and joyful life, with each of your days made bright by lessons to learn, people to love, and dreams to fulfill. Happy Birthday! Sincerely, Bill Clinton
President George H.W. Bush: Dear Sophie Belle, On November 21, 2011, you arrived in this big, exciting world and you became part of a happy, loving family. You are a very lucky little girl, for you have two wonderful parents who will take care of you, who will always love you, and who will always be there for you as you explore the wonders of this world. You also have an extended family and lots of friends. Family and friends are what really count in life. I hope your life will be as happy as mine has been, Sophie Belle, and I further hope that you live it in a world at peace. Sincerely, G. Bush
President Jimmy Carter: To Sophie Belle, Welcome to a wonderful family, a fine state, and a great nation! Sincerely, Jimmy Carter
Nice, aren't they? Bet you didn't know what softies those White House guys really are. Kind of restores your faith in Presidents of the United States for the jaded among you, doesn't it? (Cue the patriotic music.)
If you want to do this yourself, it's simple. Just Google "PRESIDENT'S NAME contact information," which will take you to the official website and mailing address. Or search "presidential greeting baby birth from living presidents." Then write a letter requesting one of these cards for your baby with the child's name and date of birth in bold capital letters. We tailored each one to the president in question and were very complimentary. Flattery will get you everywhere!
Did you know you could ask Presidents of the United States to write cards to your new baby?
Image via Chris R McFarland/Flickr