There’s probably a lot that the presidential family gives up that the American public remains largely unaware or does not think about. Being able to go to the market by yourself with no bodyguards – out. Doing anything in public without the risk of your picture being taken – out. But one facet that’s really quite interesting is that the Obamas don’t need to drive a vehicle. Ever. They have a driver. For Michelle Obama specifically, this means she has not been behind the wheel of a vehicle in eight long years; Her daughters were school- age children at the time her husband took office.
Nothing stops the hands of time – and Malia Obama is no exception. The poised young woman is now 16-years-old and even though her life is nothing like that of other ordinary teenagers, there’s no doubt that she has some of the same dreams and coming-of-age rituals even though her world is extremely protected by the Secret Service. So, it seemed only practical that the secret service would teach her to drive – and they did.
In an interview with Rachel Ray, Michelle Obama spoke of her daughter’s blossoming womanhood and desire for independence as part of the normal developmental process for her age.
“The Secret Service, actually, because they wouldn’t let me in the car with her. Driving for Malia, I think, gives her a sense of normalcy, like the rest of her friends are doing. And my kids have got to learn how to live in the world like normal kids.”
Michelle added that she herself misses the normal things that she used to be able to do.
“You know, I was joking the other day, I just want to ride around in a car with the window open. It’s just like, I want to do that! Being president doesn’t change who you are. It makes who you are more of that. If you come in grounded, you’re going to leave grounded. If you come in a little, sort of, off-kilter, that’s just going to be magnified. My hope is just to make sure that that they come out of this thing as functioning adults, you know?”
But of course, along with losing anonymity, there are quite a few perks to being the first family that will likely be very missed once Obama is done with his term. As for Malia, congratulations on a major milestone in your young adult life.