Picture the tearful parents moving their children to college in any sappy coming-of-age movie. Now, imagine one of those parents is the former leader of the free world, and you’ve got a pretty accurate picture of what Barack Obama was like while moving daughter Malia Obama into her freshman dorm at Harvard last fall.
During an appearance on the first episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, David Letterman’s new Netflix show, the former POTUS described how he was so distraught at the idea of saying goodbye to his firstborn that he could barely help at all with the move-in.
“I was basically useless. Everyone had seen me crying and misting up for basically the previous three weeks, so Malia, who’s very thoughtful, she goes, ‘Dad, you know, I’ve got this lamp in this box, could you put the desk lamp together?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ It should have taken five minutes or three minutes, and it had one of those little tools. It only had, like, four parts, and I’m just sitting there, toiling at this thing for half an hour,” Obama said, according to Time. As if IKEA furniture wasn’t already hard enough to put together! “Meanwhile, Michelle has finished scrubbing and she’s organizing closets, and I was just pretty pathetic.”
Although Obama went on to compare dropping Malia off at Harvard to having “open-heart surgery,” he said that technology has helped make the transition a little easier. The doting dad admitted that he and his 19-year-old text almost every single day, and that Malia is sure to include plenty of heart emojis in her texts to her dad. Aww!
Obama previously opened up about what a hard time he had saying goodbye to Malia during a public appearance in September. “I was proud that I did not cry in front of her,” he said. “But on the way back, the Secret Service was off looking straight ahead, pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.”
Basically, the odds are extremely high that this sappy dad will attempt to persuade 16-year-old Sasha to pick a college much closer to home when it’s her turn to leave the nest.
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