During an event for the Beau Biden Foundation on Monday, Obama talked about taking 19-year-old Malia to Harvard University earlier this month for her first semester. He said he was proud of himself for not crying in front of her but admitted he wasn’t able to keep it together after he left.
“For those of us who have daughters, it just happens fast. I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill (Biden) that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery. I was proud that I did not cry in front of her,” Obama said, according to CNN. “But on the way back, the Secret Service was off, looking straight ahead, pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.”
He added that the moment was a “reminder that, at the end of our lives, whatever else we’ve accomplished, the things that we’ll remember are the joys that our children -- and hopefully way later, our grandchildren -- bring us.”
The former president has often talked about his daughters and how proud he is of them. In January, during his farewell address, he said that even with all he’s accomplished, his role as a father will always be his proudest, saying to his daughters, “Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”