Six months ago I told you how Amanda almost met Michelle Obama, and about my letter to Mrs. Obama. click I was beginning to wonder whether we would ever hear back, whether my letter had landed in the great pile that don’t get past her staff, never to bear fruit. Then, just a day after the election, a manila envelope arrived for Amanda, with the simple return address: The White House.
Remember how lovely it was to get mail when you were a child? Partly it was the magic - how did somebody know your name and address, and how did the letter get to your house? It had a certain Santa Claus-Easter Bunny-Tooth Fairy quality to it. I still feel a bit of that same excitement when I get a real letter, from someone I know, among the bills and ads.
So when Amanda came home from Girls Place and dumped her 100-pound backpack on the table, I said,
“Look, you got a letter from the White House.”
“It’s for ME?”
“I think it’s from Michelle Obama. Open it.”
Inside was a letter and an 8x10 color photograph of Michelle Obama and her dog Bo. Bo had been groomed to a toy-like fluffiness - it’s hard to say which of them was more stylish. Both of them had signed the picture.
Amanda was every bit as thrilled as I was. It didn’t matter that I’d secretly been hoping for an invitation to tea. Watching her take it in, her quiet pleasure as she put it carefully back in the envelope and took it to her room, was worth more than any invitation.
The next day, she gave me permission to take it away to be framed. The young man at my favorite frame shop was delighted with the project, and we chatted about Mrs. Obama as we deliberated over matting and frame. The result was, as framing jobs always are, more perfect than I could have imagined.
She took it to Girls Place, where everyone oohed and aahed. She took it south for Thanksgiving for all the relatives to see, and to a visit with her Mommy. Now it hangs in Amanda’s picture gallery, the hall outside her room, with her signed poster of the University of Florida women’s volleyball team, and her many paintings and cartoons.
Here is Mrs. Obama's letter:
As First Lady, I have no greater joy than learning about the remarkable students across our country. That’s why I am so happy your grandmother told me about your impressive accomplishments.
Every American, no matter what age, has a special role to play in leading us to a better tomorrow. That is why it is so important for you to study hard in school and stay active in your community. If you keep up the good work, I know you will have all the tools you need to achieve your dreams.
Keep up the good work, and remember I believe in you!
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Next post: April 26