President Barack Obama has written an open letter to his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 8, in which he admits, “I know I have been an imperfect father. I know I have made mistakes.”
Here are some excerpts (sourced below) of Obama’s letter from Parade Magazine via PEOPLE:
“There were many days out on the campaign trail when I felt like my family was a million miles away,” he writes, “and I knew I was missing moments of my daughters’ lives that I’d never get back. It is a loss I will never fully accept.”
Urging other fathers to become engaged in their children’s lives, Obama says, “We need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.”
Reflecting on his own father’s absence from his life (Obama’s childhood was divided between living with his mother and and his grandparents), the president reflects on becoming a father to his elder daughter.
“I think back to the day I drove Michelle and a newborn Malia home from the hospital nearly 11 years ago,” he writes. “I think about the pledge I made to her that day: that I would give her what I never had – that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father.”
Happy Father’s Day President Obama!