I Love Mister Rogers

July 22, 2006

I am confessing my love because–I also confess–I just finished crying over this video of Fred Rogers testifying before the Senate in 1969. Take a look for yourself.

Fred Rogers was a gentle genius who made television aimed at moral and emotional development–for children and for grown ups who could understand the message.
When my father was dying and X was a baby, I watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood religiously–really religiously. My father died a couple days before X’s first birthday. Over the next few years, Mr. Rogers was a source of comfort for me and X grew more aware of what the show was about. Sure, it was tame compared to Power Puff Girls, but we loved the show’s nerdiness and the genuine caring expressed by all the characters. Fred Rogers taped the last Neighborhood show in 2001 and died in 2003 at age 74. I still miss him.

Mr. Rogers taught me to experience all my emotions–to experience them and to try to understand them. For example, What Do You Do With The Mad That You Feel? Packed into that song title: We feel it, recognize that we are feeling it, then figure out what to do with it–understanding that we can have control over it.

(SF Schools  <http://www.sfschools.org> led me to this link. A great place for the inside scoop on our district and local education issues. But that’s another post!)