Barack and Michelle Obama, Thanks for the Memories…

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7.June 22, 2016 “The great thing about children is you just don’t know what they will do in the presence of the President. So when David Axelrod stopped by the Oval Office with one of his sons’ family, Axe’s granddaughter, Maelin, crawled onto the Vice President’s seat while the President continued his conversation with the adults. Then at one point, Maelin glanced over just as the President was looking back at her.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 22, 2016
“The great thing about children is you just don’t know what they will do in the presence of the President. So when David Axelrod stopped by the Oval Office with one of his sons’ family, Axe’s granddaughter, Maelin, crawled onto the Vice President’s seat while the President continued his conversation with the adults. Then at one point, Maelin glanced over just as the President was looking back at her.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Barack Obama, Thank you for the Memories…

We were all together when you pulled off that first victory, that wondrous miracle. It showed us that America had a vast heart, there was place for reconciliation, for change, for new beginnings  – and hope. We smiled a lot, even when things were tough. Together we would pull through all those nightmarish days, days of crisis and financial problems.

 

OBAMA "Racial Barrier Falls in Decisive Victory"

OBAMA
“Racial Barrier Falls in Decisive Victory”

Barack Obama has been re-elected to the presidency

The big news around the world

 We had got so accustomed to your voice, your smile, your eyes. We could go to sleep, worrying about our own little challenges, because we knew the bigger problems were taken care of. Even the littlest kid loved you and we were proud of that because if they loved you it meant they loved your qualities – and those were the qualities we wanted to inculcate in our children. Qualities of intelligence, compassion, humor and to always stand tall. Look how your own Sasha and Malia turned out – and you and Michelle did that while you were running the most powerful country in the world and the world’s oldest democracy, while being on the radar of the entire universe.

We loved the way you and Michelle opened up the White House to the entire country, to diverse communities, to every little child who could now dream of being the President of America – you placed the possibility solidly in their grasp. Every festival, be it Diwali or Eid, was now an American Festival to be celebrated,  and every color, every race and every gender was kosher.

We loved the way you loved all children, their health and well-being, making them move when it would have been easier to let them be couch potatoes. We loved that you loved the idea of childhood, of treating every little guest as someone special, someone unmatched. Even undocumented immigrant children with so little to hold on to. You called them The Dreamers and gave them hope for a real future.

Images speak so much louder than words so here we share an amazing American President – and an equally amazing, well-loved First Lady through photographs. These will surely be images we will browse and pull out, time and again, and remember the Wonderful Obama Years, when a First Family almost become our own family. Thank you Pete Souza! We wish you could document the Obamas in their new world as Citizens. Surely they will continue to inspire and surprise us.

The Hand on his Cheek, a benediction….

1. “I had my eye on this youngster while President Barack Obama spoke during a reception at the White House celebrating African American History Month. When the President starting greeting audience members along the rope line, I bent down in front of the young man and captured this moment of the President touching his face before he too bent down to greet him. Afterwards, I tracked down his name — Clark Reynolds — and had the President sign a copy for him.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 “I had my eye on this youngster while President Barack Obama spoke during a reception at the White House celebrating African American History Month. When the President starting greeting audience members along the rope line, I bent down in front of the young man and captured this moment of the President touching his face before he too bent down to greet him. Afterwards, I tracked down his name — Clark Reynolds — and had the President sign a copy for him.”
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alone in the White House…

2. Feb. 23, 2016 “This photograph evokes the President in deep thought, which is not always an easy mood to convey. He was prepping with his national security staff before a teleconference with European leaders.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 Feb. 23, 2016
“This photograph evokes the President in deep thought, which is not always an easy mood to convey. He was prepping with his national security staff before a teleconference with European leaders.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Friends Forever….

8. Aug. 4, 2016 “With some staff watching in the background, President Obama blows out candles after the Vice President surprised him with some birthday cupcakes.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

8. Aug. 4, 2016
“With some staff watching in the background, President Obama blows out candles after the Vice President surprised him with some birthday cupcakes.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Growing Up in the White House…

 

 

 

3. March 10, 2016 “What an honor to watch these girls grow up. Malia, foreground, and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

March 10, 2016
“What an honor to watch these girls grow up. Malia, foreground, and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Each Kid Is Special

 

5. March 28, 2016 “The First Lady watches as President Obama gives a hug to Caprina Harris before the annual Easter Egg Roll. Caprina had burst out in tears when she was told by her family that Obama would no longer be President; the resulting YouTube video went viral and President Obama responded to her on Facebook and said he wasn’t going anywhere. They finally had a chance to meet here.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
 March 28, 2016
“The First Lady watches as President Obama gives a hug to Caprina Harris before the annual Easter Egg Roll. Caprina had burst out in tears when she was told by her family that Obama would no longer be President; the resulting YouTube video went viral and President Obama responded to her on Facebook and said he wasn’t going anywhere. They finally had a chance to meet here.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Shooting Hoops….

11. Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Sept. 12, 2016
“After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

They Can’t Vote But He Loves Them Anyway!

6. April 14, 2016 “The President is always asking staff to bring their babies and young kids by for a visit. Here, during a break between meetings one afternoon, the President crawled around in the Oval Office with Communications Director Jen Psaki’s daughter Vivi.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

April 14, 2016 “The President is always asking staff to bring their babies and young kids by for a visit. Here, during a break between meetings one afternoon, the President crawled around in the Oval Office with Communications Director Jen Psaki’s daughter Vivi.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Nothing Like a Bit of Yoga!

9. Aug. 26, 2016 “While visiting service members receiving therapy at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Master Chief Petty Officer David Hall asked the President if he would join him and his family in a yoga therapy session at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Master Chief Petty Officer Hall of the SEAL, Naval Air Station Ocean, Va., was injured while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he suffered multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries. He has served in the Navy for 26 years and has deployed five times.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Aug. 26, 2016
“While visiting service members receiving therapy at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Master Chief Petty Officer David Hall asked the President if he would join him and his family in a yoga therapy session at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Master Chief Petty Officer Hall of the SEAL, Naval Air Station Ocean, Va., was injured while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he suffered multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries. He has served in the Navy for 26 years and has deployed five times.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A Toast to the Years Ahead

 

“There was almost no light remaining at the end of the day when the President and First Lady walked out to the South Lawn for a ‘Fourth Quarter’ toast to White House staff.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“There was almost no light remaining at the end of the day when the President and First Lady walked out to the South Lawn for a ‘Fourth Quarter’ toast to White House staff.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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