A Message for Eleanor, Max & Julia as I Think About Four Years Ago...

...and how much I love my children and this wonderful country.

Four years ago today, the four of us stood huddled on the National Mall in our nation's capitol. The chill of that January day bit to the bone, and yet I can still remember the sun coming up over a sleeping city, and the crowd's enthusiasm warming us more than a thousand fires. The multi-generational family behind us that had been there for hours, those Jumbotron screens lining the length of the Mall, the spontaneous chants of joy. And mostly, I remember I was there with my three spectacular children; each present for different reasons but huddled together nonetheless. That wonderful story in the New York Times that morning — with Julia's smiling face on the front page, and our family journey detailed inside.

I just want to remind each of you — whether in the northern regions of Canada, or the western mountains of Colorado, or standing there on the Mall again — that I love you, I believe in you, and I still believe that ANYTHING is possible when people come together in service of a higher calling; in service of something greater than their own self-interest.

Today, Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term; and as happy as that makes me politically, what really makes me feel blessed is to live in this moment, in this country (with all its flaws and freedoms), with our incredible resources (intelligence, opportunity & each other). Amazing things have happened in our country, as well as with each of our individual lives over the last four years — just think how many amazing new people, new experiences, new learnings the past 48 months brought with them.

And here we go again — the future spread out like a feast just waiting for us to devour it. Dig in — make it your own. I love and believe in each one of you!