Barack Obama, seen here making total Dad-face in an Iowan bumper car with Sasha in 2007, wrote a letter "to his daughters" for Parade. When he's not politicking in it, it's pretty cute.
He starts off as any dad might, apologizing for all the hours away.
But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
Who doesn't like a man that misses his kids? He adds:
But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours.
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Which would be super cute, if the cynic in me could just ignore the part where his big plans all disappeared... except then he ran for President.
And then we get into the part of the letter Jon Favreau probably wrote.
In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.
I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.
Are you feeling ever-so-slightly less like it's a letter to his daughters and one to you, the American voter? Yeah, it just gets worse from there. He talks about sending soldiers to war, the potential embodied by the civil rights movement and the declaration of independence and says, "it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential," which is just another version of his call for a national commitment to service. So, let's skip to the cute-dad part at the end.
I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.
It's almost enough to make the cynic in me forget the middle section and how he says he wants privacy for his daughters.