When quarantine for the coronavirus pandemic started over six months ago, some of us decided to take up new hobbies or learn new languages (Rach is taking Italian lessons!) — even if only to take a few moments every day to slow down and direct our energy elsewhere.
And former First Lady Michelle Obama did the same. When she joined Rach via Zoom to discuss the importance of voting, she dished on her new hobby — knitting.
"I'm a knitter," the former first lady tells Rach. "They don't know I'm in the knitting community, because I don't use my real name. I have some knitting tutors who I go through to get my yarn and my patterns."
Wait, is Mrs. Obama in an online knitting group? And if she is — could you imagine being in her knitting group without knowing it?!
"Over the course of this quarantine, I have knitted a blanket, five scarves, three halter tops, a couple of hats for Barack," Mrs. Obama says. "I just finished my first pair of mittens for Malia. One is twice as big as the other. I'm still working on my stitching gauge."
(See! If you haven't mastered or perfected your new hobby or skill yet, you're not alone.)
And that's not all the former first lady has been doing during quarantine. She also started "The Michelle Obama Podcast," which she says was built on some of the conversations she had during her Becoming book tour. The podcast, which started as a Spotify exclusive in July, is now available wherever you listen to podcasts. (Yay!)
"A lot of it began with the fact that my mother and father thought my voice was important," Mrs. Obama says about using her voice. "They treated me and my brother, as small as we were, as people who had something important to say. When you start feeling that, it all begins at your dinner table with how your parents talk to you, and how they listen, and how they laugh at your jokes, and how they give you space to express yourself. My parents had that wisdom. They were not educated folks. They didn't go to college, but there was a sort of common sense appreciation for what children needed to feel loved and to feel valued."
"I like my voice, because I think my mom liked my voice," she continues. "I think I'm funny because my mom thought I was funny. That didn't mean we didn't have discipline. That didn't mean I could mouth off any time of the day. Because she respected us, and she respected our voice, I wanted to live up to that expectation. We talk a bit about that in the podcast with my mom. I think I want to explore some more of those issues."