I listened to an interview yesterday between Diane Rehm and former president Jimmy Carter (originally aired in April...yes, sometimes it takes months for me to listen through my pile of podcasts). The conversation fascinated me and brought up some interesting questions....
1) How exactly did Jimmy Carter get such a bad reputation when he was in office? I remember when I was little, I bought into the negative image of Carter as a dumb peanut farmer. Now that I have seen his work in the last 20 years in international affairs and on behalf of the poorest people of our own country, I think he’s a tremendously compassionate, intelligent man. In the interview, he was articulate and funny. And frankly, everything he had to say about today’s economy and the war in Iraq and bringing peace to the Middle East made sense to me. I’d vote for him. I'm curious to see how history will remember this man.
2) President Carter talked to Diane Rehm about his recent memoir entitled, A Remarkable Mother. He described his “mamma” as a full-time nurse who in addition to her job, spent many hours a day volunteering in the local community. She worked 20-hour shifts. She was rarely home. On a black desk near the front door, Jimmy’s mamma would leave loving notes for him and his siblings, telling them what to do each day (feed the chickens, fill up the wood box, etc.). Years later, Jimmy and his sister teased their mother that they thought the black desk was their mamma. This is the woman (the real woman, not the black desk) that Carter now calls a remarkable mother, whom he describes as one of the “most extraordinary people I have ever known,” whom he credits as the inspiration for all of his life’s work.
So here’s my question. Am I seriously over-thinking this parenting job or what?