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In a joint interview with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, PEOPLE magazine reports they are preparing to enter civilian life–and that includes letting their baby girls go.

President Obama, ever the thoughtful, logical man he has shown us to be, admits that his oldest daughter is in fact of an age where she should leave the nest.

The First Lady, our favorite “Mom In Chief,” however, knows that letting go is hard.

They’re ready to get out, just out from their parents’ house,” the President says in a joint interview for this week’s PEOPLE cover story. “The fact that their parents’ house is the White House may add to it. But Malia’s going off to college. She’s a grown woman.

She’s still a baby,” FLOTUS says.

Malia Obama, 18, graduated high school this June. She was accepted into Harvard University in the fall, but she is taking a gap year and will begin college after her father is out of office.

Sasha, 15, is a sophomore at the Sidwell Friends School, the same school her older sister and first daughter Chelsea Clinton attended.

The Obamas said they will remain in Washington, D.C., at least until Sasha graduates in two years.

And for all the talk of flying the coop, the Obamas say they–and the girls–are going to miss 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, their home base for the last eight years.

There’s a sentimentality about this place, that they’ve had so many amazing experiences, and the staff are part of the family,” says the President. “It is different for them than for most kids in that when they leave, they won’t be able to come back home. Malia’s spoken about how she regrets the fact that she won’t have that home base in the same way.”

Yet, he adds, “They’re ready to get out of the nest. We don’t think they’re ready, but they certainly think they’re ready.



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Malia & Sasha Say They’re Ready To Leave The Nest  was originally published on