It can't be easy to be a member of the First Family, especially if you're a kid. Although the children of presidents are usually regarded as off limits to the predatory jaws of the American journalism machine, their lives are still highly scrutinized and their movements limited: you can't just decide on a whim to go shopping with friends after school. That any child growing up in the White House turns out relatively normal is a testament to human resilience, good parenting, or some combination of both.
So imagine the incumbent pressures of being a White House kid combined with the fact that, as we grow up, our parents become increasingly and visibly uncool.
And imagine it's Thanksgiving.
The anxiety of the most tedious obligations to appear with your parents on what should be a day of relaxation and gratitude are suddenly magnified by publicity, the press, and the political atmosphere.
Every single thing you do will be scrutinized by your parents' critics...
You're not the one making public policy. You're just trying to get through high school and go on college tours. But you're an easy target: if there's one thing everyone has an opinion on, it's how to raise somebody else's kids.
You're already remembering the last time the press trained their lenses on you and really, all you want to do is go inside, say grace, and eat...
And then Dad starts cracking "dad jokes" about the turkey. Great. THANKS, DAD.
Gotta empathize with them. Growing up isn't easy. Just remember, ladies, much of the presidency — just like so much of public life — is performance. It'll be OK.
Now, before anyone feels tempted to judge, can you imagine a camera trained on you through your teenage years? Would you want that footage shown to the free world? Probably not.
I'm sure Sasha and Malia are thankful that the day is over.