The Fourth of July is both a national and family holiday for the Obama family.

Barack and Michelle Obama took to social media that morning to commemorate Malia Obama‘s 23rd birthday. They both posted nostalgic photos and loving messages to celebrate their oldest daughter on both Instagram and Twitter.

“Happy Fourth of July, and Happy Birthday, Malia!” the former president wrote. “It’s been such a joy to watch you begin to make your own way in the world with poise, grace, and humor. I miss the days when you thought the fireworks were for you.”

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“Happy Fourth of July, everybody—and also, happy 23rd birthday to our dear Malia!” said the former First Lady. “It’s been a few years since we took this photo, but I know that she’ll always be my sweet little girl whose big hugs and big heart always lift up my day. Malia, we love you, and are so excited to see what this year will bring for you!”

This year is a significant year for birthdays in the Obama family, with their second daughter Sasha Obama having turned 20 on June 10. In a CBS This Morning interview last May, Michelle Obama shared her thoughts on Malia and Sasha growing into young women. “I almost forgot that this year, this summer, they’re going to be 23 and 20. I mean, I’m just like, ‘Stop there.’ I don’t even have teenagers anymore. So I am excited for her next chapter. That’s why I want to be as excited as every parent.”

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Barack and Michelle Obama have also spoken fondly of their relationships with their daughters in recent interviews. The former president recently appeared on Dax Shepard‘s Armchair Expert podcast, where he spoke with the actor about his family, and whether he or the former First Lady is the more domineering parent.

“They know that I’m all bark and no real bite,” he said. “Michelle, she’s the top dog ’cause they’re scared of her. Michelle says that you have to always have at least one parent who the kids think is a little bit crazy and might actually kill you,” he said with a laugh.

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The former president also said that he is “generally the brunt of every joke in the household,” according to People.


“At the dinner table, the three of them just mock me constantly about my big ears or my weird habits or fashion sense or if I mispronounce the name of some hip-hop star that Sasha’s been listening to. They all go, ‘What an idiot.’ So that’s basically the vibe at my house,” he said.

Malia recently graduated from Harvard University. She is reportedly working as a writer on Donald Glover‘s upcoming Amazon series.

This article first appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US