Photo: Malia, Sasha Obama Shows Maturity

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The White House released a photo of first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama sitting on a couch with their father as they watched their mother give her moving convention speech last night.  While the image of the threesome closely huddled together on the couch is undeniably heart-warming, even more striking is the degree to which the two young girls have grown over the past four years.

The two daughters look like true teenagers four years after they were introduced to the world's stage during Mr. Obama's first presidential campaign.  During the initial campaign, Malia was only 10 and Sasha, whose real name is Natasha, looks like a baby as she was only seven years old.  With two summer birthdays- Sasha's in June and Malia's on the fourth of July- they now have yet another year under their belts, and they are starting to truly look like the young ladies that they are.  In last night's photo, both girls were wearing skinny jeans, though they both took different approaches to the popular style. 

Malia sported a light blue pair with a white and grey blouse while Sasha snuggled up with a faded pair that almost appeared acid washed. She completed her convention night look with a striped tank top and collection of various bracelets.  The two girls were unable to join their mother in Charlotte on the night of her speech- which has received almost universal praise- because it was their first day of school.  Sasha is now in sixth grade at Sidwell Friends School, which they chose to attend once their father was elected and they moved to Washington, D.C.

Malia just had her first day of high school on Tuesday, reaching a milestone in her education thus far.

President and First Lady Obama sat down with People magazine during a campaign stop towards the end of August and at that time they said how there was a lot to think about in terms of back-to-school preparations and Malia's transition to high school.   'She's going to be great. The truth is my girls, they don't seem to have all the flaws I had when I was their age. They're just good kids- smart, hardworking, kind, and respectful. They'll adjust really well,' Mr. Obama said.   Michelle then corrected him and said that he shouldn't rush Sasha to grow up quite yet, teasingly saying 'she's the baby'. 

'She's going through her own transition into young lady hood. We pretend she's a baby. Except she's grown about a foot,' he responded.  While it is fair to assume that they would have liked to have their Mom-in-chief home yesterday afternoon for the start of school, the close bond they show with their father in the relaxed photo released after Michelle's speech was not simply made up for the cameras.  It is well-known that when Mr. Obama is in or near Washington, he always tries to be home for dinner with the girls at 6.30pm.  In her speech last night, Mrs. Obama confirmed that, saying that he enjoys 'strategizing about middle school friendships' with his daughters.

His priority last night, however, was keeping a straight face during her emotional and personal speech. 

'I'm going to be at home, and I'm going to be watching it with our girls. And I'm going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. Because when Michelle starts talking, I start getting all misty,' he said at a campaign event earlier that morning.

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