January 20th, 2009
07:36 PM ET

Playing house in the White House

Program Note: Tune in for Erica Hill's report on the Obama daughters on AC360° tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Jenna and Barbara Bush

For The Wall Street Journal

Sasha and Malia, we were seven when our beloved grandfather was sworn in as the 41st President of the United States. We stood proudly on the platform, our tiny hands icicles, as we lived history. We listened intently to the words spoken on Inauguration Day service, duty, honor. But being seven, we didn't quite understand the gravity of the position our Grandfather was committing to. We watched as the bands marched by - the red, white, and blue streamers welcoming us to a new role: the family members of a President.

We also first saw the White House through the innocent, optimistic eyes of children. We stood on the North Lawn gazing with wonder at her grand portico. The White House was alive with devoted and loving people, many of whom had worked in her halls for decades. Three of the White House ushers, Buddy, Ramsey, and "Smiley", greeted us when we stepped into her intimidating hallway. Their laughter and embraces made us feel welcome right away. Sasha and Malia, here is some advice to you from two sisters who have stood where you will stand and who have lived where you will live:


soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. david

    let's start addressing our president has president and not Mr. Obama I know it's been a long day but come on

    January 20, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    What a wonderful letter – I had never really imagined the White House through the eyes of a child and this letter made me realize just how much FUN a child could have at the White House – the description of Christmas especially made it seem magical. I hope one day the Obama girls will write a letter to the next set of children to grace the White House – I would love to know their impressions at the end of their time in the White House.

    January 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm |