One of the most moving parts of President Barack Obama's second term acceptance speech Tuesday night was the part where he thanked his daughters. Sasha and Malia Obama have been in the national spotlight for more than five years now. They have literally grown up before our eyes.
At 14, Malia is a picture of beauty and poise, and her 11-year-old sister Sasha (love the name) has lost some of her baby-ness and now looks every bit the young lady. Sniff. As Obama said so eloquently:
Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom ... And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.
I totally hear him on the dog. But as a mom who was once a daughter to a very busy man who traveled a lot and was very career-minded, I thought about something else, too, last night. I wondered if the girls were really, truly happy.
Oh sure, they LOOKED happy and beautiful and relieved. And I am sure they are. No one wants to lose and no one wants to see their dad rejected. But had Obama lost, these girls would have had their dad back. Say what you will about Romney, he did manage to keep his political ambitions local until all his sons were launched. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have your dad be president, but it's not "normal" either.
In many ways, a president is everyone's dad. He is distracted by so many things and has the fate of the country (and much of the world) in his hands. There are late nights, a lot of travel, and precious few hours to spend going to little league games and watching dance recitals.
Obama is seen as a great dad for good reason. He is. He adores his daughters and is involved with their lives. When the family is together, they eat together and generally try to make things as "normal" as possible. But realistically, that's a tall order.
He is on call to the American people 24/7. Our needs take priority over their needs every day. It's a tremendous sacrifice. I look at those girls and I see more than the daughters of a president. I see young ladies who are willing to sacrifice and serve at a very young age for the greater good of this country.
"Strong young women," indeed. Obama couldn't do what he does without the support of his family. I only hope they understand how grateful we all are for what they are giving up as his daughters.
Do you think it would be hard to be the President's daughter?
Image via NewYorkTimes/YouTube