President Barack Obama opened up about the pain he feels watching his daughters, Sasha and Malia, grow up and have "teenage moments."
"[T]hey love you, but what I think really affects you most is they just don’t have time for you," Obama told Bill Simmons for an interview in GQ. "It’s not an active disdain for you. It’s just their calendars start filling up and they’ve got all these friends who are much more interesting."
Though he said it's sad that his daughters don't have as much time for him now that they're teenagers, he said it's worth it to watch them grow into people "smarter and cooler" than he is:
And you just have to let go, you have to acknowledge that if you say to them, “Hey, you want to go watch this movie?” or “Hey, you want to go take a swim at the pool?” “No, sorry, Daddy. I love you, though. See you tomorrow, ’cause I’m spending the night at somebody’s house.” The golden age is between, say, 6, 7, and 12, and they’re your buddies and they just want to hang out. And after that, they will love you, but they don’t have that much time for you. And my understanding is, based on friends of mine who have older kids, is that with a little bit of luck, as long as you’re not so completely annoying during these teenage years, they’ll come back to you around 23, 24, and actually want to hang out with you. But that stretch is painful. The compensation you get for the fact that they don’t have time for you is: Nothing beats watching your children become smarter and cooler than you are. And you suddenly will hear them say something or make a joke or have an insight and you go, “Wow. I didn’t think of that.”
Obama has been vocal about how he's dealt with his daughters growing up, saying in September he was "freaked out" while sending his older daughter, Malia, off for her first day of her senior year of high school. In 2014, when Malia began looking at colleges to attend after her May graduation, the president said he was "trying to get used to not choking up and crying and embarrassing her."
Obama also told Simmons he's impressed by how tech-savvy his girls are, calling them "complete ninjas on the phone."
"[T]hey can do things that I don’t even understand -- they’re doing it in two seconds," Obama said.
Read more from Bill Simmons' interview with Obama at GQ.
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