My auntie and your auntie, Michelle Obama, of the Chicago Obamas, is out here kickin’ ass and takin’ names in Washington, DC. In as many weeks, she just up and showed up at two public schools in Washington, DC, without nary a warning, nod, spoiler alert, or heads up and granted some 26 students (14 at Southeast DC’s Ballou STAY High School and 12 at Northwest’s Cardozo Education Campus) the photo op of their lifetime and a few hours of her time to be inspirational, aspirational, encouraging and give what I believe might be one of the top 3 most memorable hugs any of those students will ever receive. How awesome was it for those 12 girls at Cardozo to celebrate International Woman's Day with a surprise appearance from Auntie Michelle? My guess: pretty darn.
For most of us who live in DC, the Obama years were a time where the city felt a little bit different. Sure the country had a Black president and First Family, but for those of us in the area, they were right up the street at all times. The opportunity to see them was heightened. You never know if they’d show up at Busboys & Poets, or Ben’s Chili Bowl, or at any other random location in DC.
Now that they’re no longer in office, the city has felt different, to me, at least. But knowing that they’ve moved into a neighborhood in DC means that, who knows, we just might see them at Target (probably not) or Harris Teeter, or whatever. And it means that they can do really special stuff like show up at public schools (or charter or private, whatever) and surprise a bunch of students and take pictures and be the coolest parents ever whenever they want. She can keep inspiring students who will freak out seeing her in a way that they absolutely wouldn't for any other First Lady. No shade.
The fact that Auntie Michelle has done this twice means that on any given day, she might show up anywhere, change your life for a few minutes, wipe the dirt off her shoulders, then ride off into the sunset back to Kalorama and do whatever it is the Obama’s do in the evenings in preparation for the next day. In my head, today, they’re arguing about the Nicki Minaj wacksauce response record featuring Drake and Lil Wayne, the ironically titled "No Frauds."
Oh, I also imagine that there’s a lot of shaking of the heads as they attempt not to watch the news but can’t help it like the rest of us.
I think that Auntie Michelle’s willingness and desire to go talk with students who might not realize how important they are speaks volumes about why we love her (and them) so. She gets it. She has a platform and she knows that her presence can change a day, and possibly a life. And she’s not squandering that responsibility. She's out here giving life affirming hugs.
Hats off, Auntie. Hats off.
Now excuse me while I go try to enroll in DCPS as a transfer high school student. I need one of them hugs.