While the Obamas practically strong armed Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson, into leaving her long time home in Chicago, the First Grandmother of The United States has made the most of the situation - and carved out a brand new life.
Mrs. Robinson settled into her role supporting the family, being a constant presence for the Obama girls as their parents still travel frequently, and providing a stabilizing force in the whirlwind of the public eye. But as Sasha and Malia grow older, Mrs. Robinson has found more time to connect with life in DC. MSNBC reports:
The widowed Mrs. Robinson has made friends and has had friends over to the White House. She goes shopping on her own, enjoys visits to the Kennedy Center and takes Malia and Sasha to and from school just about every day - all while enjoying a level of anonymity that has Obama and her own daughter, first lady Michelle Obama, feeling both pleased and a bit envious at the same time.
"She's quite the lady about town," Obama said. "But the nice thing is that she just walks out the gate and goes."
Such is the life of a fly grandma. Mrs. Robinson has even made a new set of friends - and made use of some of the White House perks:
Obama told radio host Tom Joyner that his mother-in-law has been having fun hanging out with Betty Currie, former President Bill Clinton's personal secretary, and using the president's box at the Kennedy Center. She recently saw the Alvin Ailey dance troupe there.
Mrs. Obama jokes that her mother has gotten so busy doing her own thing that "pretty soon she's going to come and say, 'You know, I can't pick up those kids. I've got so much going on.'"