As president, Barack Obama bears many titles, but on Friday morning the one he bore most readily was that of proud parent.
He and the First Lady traveled to the tony Northwest Washington neighborhood that houses their daughters’ exclusive private school to watch their eldest, Malia, graduate from high school. While Malia won’t be whisking off to college in the coming months—the graduate opted to take a gap year before starting college at Harvard—the president has all but guaranteed he’d be weepy during the mid-morning ceremony.
“Malia’s school asked if I wanted to speak at commencement and I said no,” the president said in January. “I’m going to be wearing dark glasses … and I’m going to cry.”
Over the past seven years, Malia and her younger sister Sasha have grown up living at one of the most famous addresses in the country and, arguably, the world. Malia was just 10 when she moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and her transformation into a young woman has happened largely in the public eye. Throughout it all, though, her parents have said life has been “normal” for the 17-year-old and her younger sister.
“The surprising truth is that being in the White House has made our family life more ‘normal’ than it’s ever been,” President Obama wrote in MORE magazine last summer.