If you’ve got a kid heading off to college and are in tears just thinking about it, you’re not alone. Turns out you are in very good company indeed. One Barack Obama, for example, had a hunch that sending elder daughter Malia off to Harvard this year was going to crush him like a bug — and his hunch proved to be correct. (Spoiler: He bawled like a baby.)
Obama spoke about his emotional goodbye to Malia when he stopped by a fundraising event held in Delaware for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. Beau Biden was the former Attorney General of Delaware and the beloved son of Dr. Jill Biden and former Vice President Joe Biden. He passed away at 46 in 2015 from brain cancer.
At the event, Obama told the guests, “I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill [Biden] that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery.” Guests were obviously delighted by Obama’s surprise appearance at the reception, gasping when he took the podium and awwwww-ing at his words about his daughter.
Malia is a freshman at Harvard — where both of her parents went — and her folks were both on hand to help her move in for her first college semester back in August.
Oh, and tear up he did. “I was proud that I did not cry in front of [Malia], but on the way back, the Secret Service was looking straight ahead pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough,” he told the Beau Biden Foundation crowd.
So there you have it. Even cool-as-a-cucumber ex-commander-in-chief couldn’t hold back the waterworks when his baby went off to college, which means a total free pass for you to ugly-cry for at least a week.