I woke up this morning with the sun streaming in through the windows. I love sunny mornings. Sure there is still 3 feet of snow in my yard, but blue sky and sunshine lifted my spirits as I reflected on my week. It was a tough one, I am not going to lie. Yes there were highlights, but many more lowlights. I expected those and will delve deeper into it with Mo. As I stared out the window, a song popped into my head:
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor!
Oh Mister Rogers, I hadn’t thought about you in ages! Immediately I was thinking about when I was 4.
When I was 4, my grandma was the same age I am now. She had 4 grandchildren, GULP! I was and still am, the eldest. So that means no one adopted anyone older than me. I still wear the crown. My grandfather had a print-shop in part of his house and my mom helped him run it. Those were the days when most of the moms I knew didn’t work. My mom brought me and my brother to work with her everyday. Grandma kept us in the main part of the house or outside. For me and my brother, it was like growing up in my grandparent’s house AND growning up at home. We felt equally comfortable at either home. I knew where the cookie jar was at home and the red cookie tin at grandma’s. I knew how to turn the dial on the TV at home ( to watch 2 crappy channels plus CBC French) and how to watch CABLE at grandma’s. Oh cable, how interesting you were then! PBS actually had kids shows on it. What kid knows about PBS for kids today? I was allowed to watch 2 shows before preschool everyday. Sesame Street was on everyday. This is where my love of Muppets started. Kermit was my first boyfriend. I still know all the songs and jingles associated with numbers and letters. I remember when Snuffy was Big Bird’s figment of his imagination. There was no Elmo, only Grover, Harry and Cookie were the Monsters. Good times!
Before Sesame Street, there was a different show on everyday. I watched Romper Room, Electric Company (starring Rita Moreno – Broadway star, Morgan Freeman – He played God and Bill Cosby, more than just the Jello guy), Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant and Mister Rodgers.
Mister Rogers was not a show I would ever tell my friends I watched. Shocking how at the age of 4 I learned that I would be ridiculed for watching Mr. Rogers. I remember one gal telling me it was for babies. BABIES! YIKES! I wasn’t a baby, I was 4, so I kept that little nugget to myself. I remember laying on my tummy in front of the TV, watching Mister Rogers walk through his front door, singing to ME, getting his cardigan out of the closet and putting on indoor shoes. Then he would let me know who was coming to visit him that day. He would get his chores done and then we would solve a problem using Make-Believe.
I spent a good portion of my “laying quietly in bed” time thinking about good old Mister Rogers, so I made a list. A list of things that I learned from Mister Rogers that I use in my Adult life, in spite of the fact it was a show for “babies”.
The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Learning Lessons from Mister Rodgers
- Wearing shoes inside is weird, but if you do – put on clean ones.
- Wearing a cardigan inside saves money on your heating bill.
- People like to know sequence of events. It brings serenity to your life when you have the sequence of events in order.
- Looking people in the eye when you speak or listen to them makes them feel important.
- It is comforting to know the people in your neighborhood.
- Solving problems using a “what if” scenario just makes good sense. It utilizes those predicting skills you learned as a child.
- Staying calm in a crisis keeps the people around you calm, then a solution can happen.
- The world is not just filled with nice, caring people, but we need to show tolerance for the “less nice” people too.
- Mister Rogers introduced me to Jazz – thank you for that Fred, smooth jazz still soothes my soul
- Children can spot a phony, say what you mean and mean what you say – then follow through. Mister Rogers always did what he said he was going to do.
- I loved riding the Trolley into Make-Believe. Now I want to go to San Fransisco to ride one as an adult.
And now for something completely different: Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno in Electric Company