As we regretfully count down the remaining days of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s time in the White House, many are choosing to express words of thanks and honor for the First Family.
And the Bush daughters are among those offering words of appreciation for Sasha and Malia Obama.
In an essay penned on TIME, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, daughters of America’s 43rd President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, the two reflected on the time when they first greeted the young girls on the steps of the White House and how they’ve evolved over the years.
“In eight years, you have done so much,” the letter states. “Seen so much. You stood at the gates of the Robben Island cell where South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades, your arms around your father. You traveled to Liberia and Morocco with your mom to talk with girls about the importance of education—girls who saw themselves in you…”
The Bush sisters, who were part of the First Family from 2000 to 2008, also noted similarities between the pairs.
“We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease. And through it all you had each other. Just like we did.”
In their effort to provide a bit of guidance for Sasha and Malia as they transition, Jenna and Barbara also provided advice for the young ladies.
“Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children—a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines. But you have so much to look forward to.”
“Never forget the wonderful people who work at the White House. Our greeter as 7-year-olds at our grandfather’s Inauguration was Nancy, the White House florist, who ushered us in from the cold. She helped us make colorful bouquets of winter flowers for our grandparents’ bedside. Twenty years later, Nancy did the flowers for Jenna’s wedding. Cherish your own Nancy.”
Read the full letter here.