President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk after arriving at Sidwell Friends School, where their seven-year-old daughter Sasha is enrolled, in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
I don’t think I’m in the minority in saying this, but my parents are not super affectionate.
Sure. They love each other intensely. They’ve been married for more than thirty years. They are, as my sisters and I once joked, “Black: United As A Force.” They take care of each other. But they don’t hold hands. I’ve only seen them kiss twice (once on the Super 8 footage of the wedding, the second when I was an adult and my father was leaving to catch a flight to Texas). My father is more of a “doer.” He shows his love by setting up all the accounts and debts so if he meets an untimely demise my mother won’t have to worry about the money. Or he drives her to her doctor appointments faithfully and fusses over what makes my otherwise “Steel Magnolia” mom quite delicate.
But they’re not lovey-dovey. Never have been. My mom saves up all her displays of affection for my sisters and myself, who have been showered in hugs, praise and kisses from day one. Just the other day, at age 31, I found myself walking around Macy’s holding my mother’s hand just beacuse.
The Obamas, who are openly affectionate in front of apparently everyone, are outwardly tender and kind towards each other and their children. Scenes of this public adoration have become a regular topic of discussion between my mother and me. About how we crave it. About how we can’t look away. About how much we love it.