WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – Former President George W. Bush’s daughters, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, have penned a letter of advice to President Barack Obama’s daughters days before the Obama family officially moves out of the White House.
In the letter published online by Time on Thursday, the Bush twins, now 35, tell 18-year-old Malia Obama and 15-year-old Sasha that as “former First Children,” they’ll be taking a position they “didn’t seek and one with no guidelines.”
“You have so much to look forward to. You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years,” the Bushes wrote.
“Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes—you are allowed to,” the letter continued. “Continue to surround yourself with loyal friends who know you, adore you and will fiercely protect you. Those who judge you don’t love you, and their voices shouldn’t hold weight. Rather, it’s your own hearts that matter.”
The Bushes advise the Obamas to draw on their many experiences during their time in the White House and use them to “help guide you in making positive change.”
The Bush twins also poked a bit of fun at themselves in the note by telling the Obamas to enjoy college, adding “as most of the world knows, we did.” Malia will head to Harvard in the fall.
“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,” the Bushes wrote.
The letter concluded on a heartfelt note.
“You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world,” it read. “As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.”
The Bushes also included a special note about the Secret Service, writing, “they were a part of growing up for us; there for first dates, first days and even an engagement and a honeymoon. We know it wasn’t always easy — the two of you and the two of us were teenagers trailed by men in backpacks, but they put their lives on hold for us.”
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