Saturday, October 10, 2009

Children, Presidents & White House Living

Small handprints randomly placed low on window panes and glass patio doors adorn many homes with children.  The White House has a skilled housekeeping staff that can spot a spider web, eliminate dust mites with top of the line oils or stamp out a lost ant colony at 10 paces.  Bringing children into the mix just puts them on a higher level of alert and ups their game.  For this years Christmas season, it will be a contest to see who drops the most crumbs, the children, Bo or the ostensible adults.  Television pioneer Art Linkletter made a living a while back at watching the things children do and say.  Two children live in the White House now with usually nary a peep.  However, each and every one of them have their moments.    Sasha plays hide and seek in the Oval to try and scare her dad.  Her feet are just a few feet away from the phone that can contact anyone securely on the planet.

The Bush twins, Barbara & Jenna, put their young hands in cement for the White House's Children's Garden during their grandfather's term in office.  While their dad President George W. Bush was in office, they went off to enjoy the college life at full throttle.  Caroline Kennedy rode her pony across the South Lawn while she and her baby brother splashed in the famous fountain.  Yet, there are always the unscripted moments.  Caroline Kennedy was about five when she gave an impromptu interview.  A reporter asked what was her father doing.  Caroline replied, nothing.  He was upstairs with his socks and shoes off.  Caroline was treated to endless entreaties to be America's new Shirley Temple.  Chelsea did not feel well at her new school and the nurse needed permission to dispense an aspirin and was about to call her mom.  Chelsea interrupted and said no, she was too busy, please call my dad.  Dad wins a Nobel Peace Prize and the Obama daughters liken it to the big events in their lives - Bo Obama's birthday and a three day weekend. And so it goes, those little moments that end up in the history books. (Caroline & John Kennedy, Jr and the president right outside the Oval Office with her pet horse, macaroni.  This is just steps away from where Sasha & Malia's swingset is today.  Photo courtesy Clinton Presidential Library)

The Clintons on the South Lawn and in the 2nd image in China with the famed Terracotta Soldiers.  Chelsea traveled along as many presidential children do on major trips.
Not everyone's dad has a helicopter with your favorite candy right at your seat or a hulking plane that stars in its own major motion picture and gets fighter jet escorts.  A ride to school for most kids is to get out of the minivan or SUV as soon as it seems like it stops so no one sees you with your parents.  Instead the newest kids of a president get an armored up SUV with fully armed guards to ride with you to school each and every day and knows whether you are finishing a piece of homework hastily in the car or got in a mite of trouble.  When riding on official business with dad there are flags on each side of the hood of The Beast and a presidential seal is everywhere and imprinted indelibly on everything.  For all the requirements, the unscripted moments still occur. (The Bush Twins, Barbara on the left and Jenna on the right. They traveled more in the last year of their father's presidency.)

Going to Martha's Vineyard for vacation it looks like Bo is saying are we there yet as an aide carries a a baby car seat required even for presidential niece Savita (Dr. Konrad Ng's & Dr. Maya Soetero-Ng's youngest daughter) for the car ride to their destination.  That's just not a recent run of the mill WH exercise toting baby gear.  Below is Savita learning to walk in the Oval Office.)

Travel is always a great time for presidential kids to meet he sons and daughters of other heads of state and make life long friends.  Many of their father's counterparts have children younger than the Obama children.  The rarity of children calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home in the last fifty years increases the interest because many people see a your family just like theirs, but with circumstances no one will ever know unless they actually live in the Executive Mansion.  With kids involved, the unexpected always happens.  When Bo officially came home, the Obama girls were the initiators of meeting the press.  It was a very young Sasha that high-fived Vice president Cheney when her father was sworn in as a senator in 2005.  President Obama and the first lady went with their children's wishes on that occasion.  Pretty sure there are more to come.  Here are a few impromptu moments courtesy of Malia & Sasha.

Yes, presidential limousines require seatbelts for the children.  This is leaving the Vatican and guess who has kicked off their shoes as big sister just smiles...  See above.  It looks like Michelle Obama bursts into laughter when she sees Sasha after the megaton door to the presidential limo is opened providing photogs with an irresistible moment.

First Lady Michelle Obama helps Malia remove sand from her hair as they wait for the incredible edibles.  Note the awesome adventurous blue nail polish Malia is sporting. This from the Obama August vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

Stay tuned! Christmas is coming to the Obama White House and in the not too distant future should be announcing the East Wing theme for 2009.  With all of the children in the place it ought to be a spectacular pictorial Holiday Season.


rikyrah said...
Sunday, 11 October, 2009  

I love articles like this. I have to admit, I am soooooooo looking forward to the Christmas season. the lighting of the National Christmas tree; the First Lady giving the HGTV SPECIAL on the White House Christmas...I can't wait. I will eat up anything this White House puts out around the holidays.

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