Who would have thought that on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, the most eloquent words would come from the Bush camp?
In an open letter published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Jenna and Barbara Bush offered their advice to Obama’s children Sasha and Malia. In addition to offering tips like having fun by sliding down the banister in the White House solarium and making sure to go to a Yankees game when dad throws out the first pitch, the twins offered some sage advice on how to handle the personal toll of having a father in the world’s biggest spotlight.
Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.
Their letter actually made me a little teary as I read it during this morning’s subway commute. I like that the letter is generous and gracious and shows that the Bush daughters have no malice towards Obama. But it’s also a personal reminder that no matter the pressures, expectations and excitement of work, my most important job in the world is to be daddy to my two beautiful little boys.