Mrs Obama pays tribute to mum

Mrs Michelle Obama (back, with daughters Malia Ann,left, and Sasha) honoured her mother Marian Robinson (centre) with a post on social media, which drew 2.6 million likes.
Mrs Michelle Obama (back, with daughters Malia Ann,left, and Sasha) honoured her mother Marian Robinson (centre) with a post on social media, which drew 2.6 million likes.PHOTO: MICHELLE OBAMA/ INSTAGRAM

NEW YORK • A Mother's Day tribute from Mrs Michelle Obama to her mum Marian Robinson has drawn more than 2.6 million likes.

In it, she thanked the 81-year-old for allowing her to "think for myself and develop my own voice".

"Growing up, every time I'd come home from school with a story to share, my mother was there with a snack and a listening ear to hear about what was on my mind.

"When I came home with a tale about my disastrous second-grade classroom, she marched into the school to figure out what was going on.

"And as I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path. She's always listened more than she lectured; observed more than she demonstrated."

Mrs Obama, 55, whose husband Barack was United States president from 2009 to 2017, wrote: "From an early age, she saw that I had a flame inside me, and she never tempered it. She made sure that I could keep it lit."

In an essay for People magazine, Mrs Obama expanded on "how important that kind of freedom is for all children, particularly for girls with flames of their own - flames the world might try to dim".

"It's up to us, as mothers and mother figures, to give the girls in our lives the kind of support that keeps their flame lit and lifts up their voices - not necessarily with our own words, but by letting them find the words themselves."

That parenting style has received the thumbs up from Mr Obama, 57.

On Sunday, he posted his homage to his wife: "Happy Mother's Day to the most caring, brilliant, funny and grounded woman I know. A perfect role model not just for our daughters, but so many others."

They have two daughters - Malia Ann, 20, and Sasha, 17.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'Mrs Obama pays tribute to mum'. Print Edition | Subscribe