I must be an emotional archaeologist because I keep looking for the roots of things, particularly the roots of behavior and why I feel certain ways about certain things.
~ from The World According to Mister Rogers
I'm so glad Claire was in kindergarten when it was still a half day affair. She'd get home a little before noon, just in time to watch Mister Roger's Neighborhood. I'd whip up a plate of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with two glasses of cold milk and we'd settle in and watch Mister Rogers burst through the door, a beam of light.
Fred would slip off his blazer, hang it in the closet, pull on his cardigan [and button it], change into his sneakers, all while singing It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...
Mr. McFeeley would stop by, Speedy Delivery!, and drop off a video about how vacuum-cleaners were made, or maybe Fred would meet a friend at the pool who was a champion swimmer even though his legs didn't work too well. There was always music. And make-believe. And all feelings were welcome.
Who knew, that at forty-six, this noon-time ritual would become the anchor for my life, five days a week. I admit I often felt lost on the weekends.
I wish I had written Fred a letter telling him what good work he was doing in the world. That in fact, this was my second time around with him. That Jesse was all grown up, that she had turned out great, and I think he might've had something to do with it.
And I would've told him I was thankful, so thankful, that some things never change.
Like Fred. And his wonderful neighborhood.