Today began with yet another cold, dreary morning. By this point in March (with basketball brackets to monitor and green beverages to consume) you begin to expect nice weather: sunshine, blue skies, warm temps. But no – we must wait a little longer and endure another cool, cloudy day!
It was hard to get out of bed, and a struggle to get motivated. We had a couple hours before church started. I should have worked on homework, or I should have started writing this blog. I should have started some laundry. But I didn’t! Instead, I grabbed a cup of coffee, curled up on the couch with my daughter, and we watched an entire hour of Mister Rogers Neighborhood!
Fred Rogers has made a recent resurgence in the media. His infamous show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and everyone is sharing their memories of how this amazing show impacted their young lives. I’ve read so many stories lately from people whose only experience with love and self-worth as a kid was from Mister Rogers. This wonderful man looked out from a television screen and somehow made it feel like he was speaking directly to you!
When my husband informed me that there are 7 seasons of Mister Rogers Neighborhood available on Amazon Prime, I was ecstatic! So I asked my 5-year-old this morning if she would be interested in watching Mister Rogers with me. Her eyes got big and she replied “I LOVE that show! We watched it once for indoor recess.” With that, it was settled – no productivity on this Sunday morning. We are watching TV!
We watched two episodes. Mister Rogers spoke to us about friendship and sharing; he told us it is good to share our feelings with our friends. In make-believe, Lady Elaine and Anna Platypus apologized over an argument about sharing. We heard the classic song, “It’s you I like.” No shame, I was in tears by the time our hour ended!
I watched my daughter off and on during the show. She was enamored! The songs, make-believe, making bubbles with a piece of string, fish feeding, all of it! I was so, so pleased! This show was such a memorable part of my childhood. I had dreamed that my own children would love it too.
Here is what I did not expect… at 38 years-old, Mister Rogers Neighborhood taught me a lesson! On Saturday I had a miscommunication with a friend. It was silly, and not worth the details – but it ended with my feelings hurt. The problem was compounded because I was not honest about my feelings. Well, Mister Rogers told me this morning to share my feelings with my friends. So later today I did – and all is well! If I would have been honest up front, I would have saved myself some grief.
I write each week about God at work in my family; I share how God’s Light and Love is for me and for you. God’s message can be translated in many ways, including 40-year old episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood. There is hope in this message of self-worth, honesty, love and the value of relationship; it is where we must focus in a chaotic and painful world. Make sure your kids hear these words, in some form, every day! But know that even grown-ups need to hear: you are loved, you have value, you are special! Thank you, Mister Rogers, for the reminder!