Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, the twin daughters of former President George W. Bush, wrote an open letter to Malia and Sasha Obama as they prepare to leave the White House.
In the letter, published in Time, the former first daughters wrote about the day eight years ago they met the current first daughters, showing them around the White House and enjoying their “contagious” joy and laughter.
“Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children—a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines,” The Bush daughters wrote. “But you have so much to look forward to. You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years.”
Sasha and Malia Obama at Andrews Air Force Base on June 15, 2016 in Maryland. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
They advised the Obama daughters to stay in touch with the White House staff that made their time there special, especially their secret service agents.
“Enjoy college,” they added:
As most of the world knows, we did. And you won’t have the weight of the world on your young shoulders anymore. Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes—you are allowed to. Continue to surround yourself with loyal friends who know you, adore you and will fiercely protect you. Those who judge you don’t love you, and their voices shouldn’t hold weight. Rather, it’s your own hearts that matter.
Both Bush twins struggled at times with the spotlight associated with being the president's daughters, and were charged with underage drinking in the early days of Bush's presidency.
The twins wrote that they are confident that after the enduring the unique challenges and opportunities presented by life in the White House, they have a great deal of confidence in the Obamas as they start their next adventure in life:
You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.
You can read the entire letter here.
Bush is now the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, a public health organization, while Hager is a correspondent for the Today Show.