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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Dear Mr. President

Posted February 27, 2011 8:30 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:11 p.m. EDT

Recently, my dad gave me a file of my old report cards and letters from grade school. I sat on the floor of our rec room one night laughing out loud as I read the contents. What I enjoyed the most was seeing snippets of my daughters' personalities in mine.

"Amanda sometimes lacks self-control in art class," one teacher wrote.

Really? What was I doing? Throwing paint brushes around?

Apparently my attitude about sanding my wooden dog tie rack in shop improved throughout the year. I also ended a standoff with the music teacher and agreed to try and learn to play the recorder.

But the best part of the file contained letters I had written to several presidents. I congratulated Gerald Ford on his win and asked him for a signed photo - standard kid-writing-to-president fare.

But to President Jimmy Carter I was much more specific. I told him young people needed a voice in politics, that I was concerned about what was going on in South Africa and that I was hoping he would send Secretary of State Cyrus Vance there to work it out. I'm not sure I knew who the secretary of state was when I was in my twenties, but somehow I knew in my adolescence. The P.S. at the bottom of the letter read: "I plan to be the first woman president."

Letter to the president

"How's that working out for you?" My older daughter asked me after reading the letter out loud at the breakfast table. I was in the process of chasing stray Cheerios around my sink with the spray nozzle faucet.

"Probably not going to happen, sweetheart," I replied without regret.

Best laid plans.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.