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“I think Malia is very eager to get out of here,” President Barack Obama told The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, when he appeared on the program this week. He was referring to switching into full dad-in-chief mode, as Obama cleared his schedule to attend his oldest daughter Malia Obama‘s high school graduation. Think about how much time has passed to commemorate her academic achievement. Maria was only 10-years-old when Barack entered office, and now, Malia’s graduation from Sidwell Friends school in Washington marks an entirely awesome milestone for the First Family.

“She already doesn’t listen to me, whatever I say,” Obama told a questioner in Ho Chi Minh City who asked if Malia might travel to Vietnam during her gap year. The president and his wife sought to instill a sense of normalcy for their two girls as they grew up in the public eye that comes with being the leader of the free world. “You want her to come to Vietnam, I shouldn’t be the one to tell her,” Obama added. The girls — Malia and Sasha Obama — have a close bond with their father, even despite the intense scheduling that comes with presidential travel and meetings.

Malia, 18, was unable to be taught how to drive by her father, but thankfully the Secret Service did teach her some tricks. The president did attend the annual parent-teacher conferences and occasionally attended a basketball game or dance recital. By his own admission, the president has been dreading the day of witnessing his first born growing up and becoming a full-fledge adult. At the Sidwell Friends graduation, he declined a request to speak at the event, and wore shades to cover up the tears of joy that he had at witnessing his daughter’s educational evolution.

Malia has already hinted at her future plans in filmmaking, and even completed short-term internships on television sets in New York and Los Angeles. And Malia has been accepted to her parents alumni, Harvard University, while Sasha, Barack and Michelle Obama will still be in Washington after they all leave the White House in January to support Sasha during her own high school career at Sidwell. As the highest-profiled guests at the mid-morning ceremony, the First Family maintained their privacy by ensuring that no photo-ops were allowed on the school’s campus in Washington’s leafy Northwest quadrant.

“I’m going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing,” the president told Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year. “She’s one of my best friends. And it’s going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she’s ready to go. You can tell. She’s just a really smart, capable person and she’s ready to make her own way.” With Malia’s plans for the next 12 month having yet to be revealed, the pangs of parenthood are evident, as Barack and Michelle witness their first born leaving the nest.

H/T: The Washington Post

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