Kids and Kissing Pictures

Whatever your politics, you may find a presidential inauguration historic, celebratory, tedious to watch on television, or a mixed bag. If you’re anything like me, you tuned in and out while tending to other matters, and you may have a favorite moment.

Perhaps it was the remarkable convergence of dates – President Obama’s second inaugural taking place on Martin Luther King Day, and his using both the Lincoln Bible and MLK’s traveling Bible.

Perhaps it was the inaugural speech and its clarity in presenting an agenda. Perhaps it was Beyoncé belting out the national anthem.

For me, it was about family.

And yes, the kissing pictures.

Sasha Obama was clearly directing her parents to kiss for a photo she was trying to take with her phone, and while they complied in good-natured fashion, big sister Malia jumped into the frame to ruin Sasha’s picture! (Can you spell “photo bomb?”)

How much more normal can you get, when it comes to sibling shenanigans? And how lovely that President and Mrs. Obama were willing to redo the kiss several times until their daughter was happy with the result?

Apparently, I’m not the only one who found those moments to be memorable. Huff Post Style has a series of AP photos covering those few minutes of familial affection.

That scene was touching and real, and reminded me of my own boys when they were little, how they delighted in seeing signs of affection between their father and me – at times requesting it – and wanting exactly that sort of picture as a keepsake.

As for the rest of the festivities?

Shall we address Michelle’s bangs, which seem to be all the talk anyway?


Her choice of fashion – at the ceremonies as well as the balls, in her stunning red gown by Jason Wu?


Of more substantive significance – President Obama’s speech?

Yes, I was pleased, and now I’d like to see intention become execution to the extent that it’s possible in Washington these days. (One can hope.)

Best in show?

These “First Kids” being kids, and the First Parents, being parents – and the reminder that families matter. Our families may take many forms, as do our communities. But the foundations of respect, commitment, tolerance, and caring – aren’t these the tenets of what most of us want in our lives? Isn’t that “family,” whether it’s packaged up in traditional form or not?

Your favorite inaugural moments?

© D. A. Wolf



  1. says

    I love this family and how they care for each other. You get the impression that no matter what happens in their lives, they can make it because they have each other. I love the example they are setting for the country by how they manage their own family – caring for each other, setting high standards for behavior, not afraid to show their love for each other and or to give the epic eye roll when it’s needed!!

  2. says

    A Jason Wu + Jimmy Choos? = sartorial splendor

    Granted, my politics may bias me on this one, but I can’t get over how “normal” the Obama girls seem in general. And the moment you capture here is a perfect illustration. My hope is that they can keep their heads firmly planted on their shoulders as they navigate the teen years and beyond. Something tells me their parents – and their very present grandmother (it takes a village!) – will help them find their way.

  3. says

    At the same time as Obama was delivering his inaugural address — “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law” — I was addressing the issue of how “We” allow Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer and nuclear weapons manufacture, to profit with our taxes by making drones, Hellcat missiles, nuclear weapons, and computer systems that control this lethal and illegal (by the rules of international law and by treaties that our government has endorsed) mess this government has created. Obama is hardly a Martin Luther King, and taking the oath of office on King’s personal bible simply makes that point clearer to me. And so I and other members of the Brandywine Peace Community were arrested on Lockheed Martin property while peacefully attempting to deliver Martin Luther King’s message that we must cease building weapons that could destroy mankind. That is my preferred way to spend the day.

    On the family level, I appreciate that we have a politician who does care about family. I remember my parents, very New England proper at public events, being huggy and slightly silly at home. And yes, I thought it was silly. But I felt that there must be something good about it.

  4. says

    I’ve only managed to watch half of Obama’s speech so far on Youtube. Haven’t got to the other bits yet, but I was saying to Bill last night how striking Obama’s suit was. I’m thinking there will be narrower collars and wider lapels in fashion for a while… or maybe that already is the fashion? I’m not around men in suits much these days.

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