Barack Obama says daughters Malia and Sasha became great friends amid pandemic: 'There's been no greater joy'

'They're both old enough, where they just enjoy each other's company,' the former president said


                            Barack Obama says daughters Malia and Sasha became great friends amid pandemic: 'There's been no greater joy'
(Getty Images)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of families around the world got the opportunity to spend time with their families as they spent more time at home. The Obama family is not very different from us as Barack Obama told PEOPLE in this week's cover story that they also had more family time during the crisis. "Malia and Sasha have been with us almost continuously since March, with just a few breaks," the former president said as he continued: “Like a lot of families who are lucky enough not to have to worry about losing a job, or a family member getting sick, there are times where it's felt claustrophobic, I'm sure, for them.”

“But for Michelle and me as parents, to have this bonus time where your kids are having dinner with you every night and we're playing games and watching movies together — there's been a lot of joy to that,” Obama explained. “ I think part of what's been also wonderful is seeing Malia and Sasha become such great friends. They've got a three-year gap between them, and when one is 16 and the other one's 13, there's still that sister competition. ‘Did you grab my halter top? Where is it? Why haven't you returned it? Why are you doing this, why are you doing that?’”

But the father-of-two also said that now the sisters are adults, they have come closer to each other. "Now they're both old enough, where they just enjoy each other's company and to be together as a family and see how they've become these marvelous young women — there's been no greater joy than that,” Obama said. He also added that living all time together was not always merry because that “doesn't mean that we haven't gone through what I think a lot of people go through, which is a little bit of cabin fever. And I'm sure the girls have felt it more severely than Michelle and I have.”

This comes after two months back, Michelle Obama talked about family time amid the Covid-19. In September, the former first lady said to Conan O'Brien in an appearance on his talk show, “There were sort of the early stages where we were all excited to be together and we were being all organized and we would spend the days apart doing our respective work, the girls were still in classes in the spring, so we would be working and then doing a little exercise and coming together in the evenings and we would have these activities" like puzzles and games and an "art exhibit day."

She also said that since the public health crisis did not end "our kids got a little sick of us, which was fine 'cause we were pretty much sick of them.” The 56-year-old mentioned how their move to their Martha's Vineyard home in the summer gave them "more room to roam around." "And now the kids are back in Zoom-land with classes. They're doing it remotely. And they're no longer thrilled about being with us." (She said, laughing, "They'll come down periodically for a grunt."),” she added.

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