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Maybe it’s because I’m from the South Side of Chicago and vividly remember meeting a pre-parenthood Michelle Obama back in 1994, but like a distant relative who only catches up with the cousins every few years, I have a specific timeframe that flashes through my mind every time I think of the Obama daughters. You know, something like this:
Yes, like all of you, I’ve watched the former first daughters grow up from afar and hit milestones like going to prom and college—and have even reported on them. And yes, I can do basic math. But like all adults living in denial of their own advancing age, they’re still captured in amber in my mind, forever little girls with silk presses and pre-orthodontist smiles.
As such, I was not ready to see Sasha Obama trending today for anything other than being her typically cute self. But no. Baby girl turned 20 today.
That’s right, the Obama’s youngest has officially exited her teens, and while she’s still got another year before earning all the legal rights of adulthood, it admittedly hit me in the feels. Obviously, I’m not the only one who’ll always envision Sasha in the single-digits; despite the well-circulated photos of a now grown and gorgeous college co-ed, her mom and dad both posted photos of a pint-sized Sasha as they welcomed their daughter into her twenties.
“Happy birthday to my darling Sasha!” wrote Mom-in-Chief Michelle on Instagram alongside a picture of Sasha atop her lap. “I am so grateful for every laugh we’ve shared—and everything you’ve taught me over the years. You’ll always be my little girl, but I couldn’t be prouder of the woman you are becoming. Love you so much!”
Aww! She’ll always be our little girl, too! Of course, her proud papa also made a tribute, posting a darling photo of him carrying his youngest as she grinned over his shoulder.
“Happy birthday, Sasha! You’ve grown so much, and it’s been a joy to watch you become the person we always hoped you’d be,” wrote the former president. “Your mom and I can’t wait to see where life takes you next.”
Yes, they grow so fast—and while that’s only rational, I can’t help feeling irrationally sentimental about America’s baby girl stepping over the threshold into adulthood. As for what that says about my own rapidly advancing age, I’m not old, you are.