"All along, she was empowering us to be ourselves, kindling the unique flame burning inside each of us," the former first lady wrote on social media

By Adam Carlson
May 08, 2020 10:03 AM
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Michelle Obama is starting her Mother's Day celebration early with a note of gratitude for her own mom, Marian Robinson.

On Friday morning the former first lady, 56, posted an outtake from the filming of her new Netflix documentary, Becoming, along with what she called a reflection "on the lessons that my mom taught me and my brother Craig over the years."

In the clip, Robinson says there was "no secret" to how she raised her son and daughter.

"I had fun with my kids," she says. "I just couldn’t wait to see what they were going to come in and say next, because it was always something."

Obama echoed that in her tribute on Instagram.

"When we were growing up, she always gave us the space to ask questions and share our ideas," she wrote of Robinson, now 82. "And she always took us seriously, carefully considering what we had to say and responding with thoughtful questions, and plenty of encouragement."

"All along, she was empowering us to be ourselves, kindling the unique flame burning inside each of us," Obama continued. "She laid out the blueprint for how I have raised my own girls."

Indeed. As the former first lady wrote in a Mother's Day essay for PEOPLE last year, her mom saw in her "tenacity, a stubbornness, a sassiness — a flame. It wasn't a flame she'd ever lay claim to sparking, and she certainly never tried to douse it either. My brother, Craig, had his own flame, different and slightly cooler than mine. My parents gave his fire, too, the oxygen it needed to grow."

Michelle Obama (left) and mom Marian Robinson photographed at the Obamas’ Chicago home on Nov. 2, 2018
| Credit: Miller Mobley
Marian Robinson (left) and Michelle Obama in 2019 while filming Netflix's documentary Becoming
| Credit: Netflix

"I see now 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. I know that not every girl is like me, including my own daughters," she wrote then. "Malia and Sasha both have different temperaments, different sensibilities, different flames. Neither of them burns the same way that I do or that Barack does. That unique flare is what makes them who they are, and that's what I love about them."

Robinson, who lived with the first family while they were in the White House, appears alongside her daughter in the new Netflix documentary Becoming.

On Saturday, Netflix will host a virtual viewing party on Twitter of Becoming starting at 5 p.m. ET, where people will be encouraged to share their reactions in real time and their own stories.

The film, made with the Obamas' production company, follows the former first lady on her sold-out book tour and includes scenes of her with mom Robinson and her brother, Craig Robinson.

At one point, she returns to her childhood home in Chicago. In another scene, gathered around Craig's dinner table, she cracks up hearing how her mom prefers the wine at Craig's house.

"Mom, you are my rock and my best friend, and you have been a guiding light throughout my life," she wrote on social media Friday. "I love you!"