I even had a sweater and pair of sneakers that I would pull out of the closet at the start of each show, climb onto (what seemed at the time to my little eyes) our massive couch, and get ready along with Mr Rogers as he welcomed me and countless other kids to the neighborhood.
I watched, I sang, and I learned, even if I didn’t know it at the time.
I walked away from those years of my life with some amazing lessons in morality, ethics and courtesy, all thanks to a man who was willing to treat his audience of children as actual people and not talk down to them.
I have a deep admiration for Fred Rogers, his vision and what he did for millions of children over various generations.
Where we live, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is no longer in syndication.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to come across this latest creation from The Fred Rogers Company:
If, like me, you watched as a child, you probably remember the Neighborhood of Make Believe – the magical world accessed via the trolley, which would leave Mr. Rogers’ den, go through the wall and introduce us to the likes of King Friday, X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Striped Tiger and more. For this latest generation, Daniel Tiger is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger from the original program.
I actually got a little emotional recently when I was home with him and we were watching it together.
He was cooing and laughing, and as I watched and heard those familiar chimes of the trolley welcoming us to the neighborhood, I was overwhelmed by how touched I was.
I once sat watching Mr. Rogers with my mom and dad, and here I was, with my son, watching the next generation’s equivalent. It made me so happy, so touched, and so thankful that the vision of Fred Rogers lives on in any form.
Children need people like Fred Rogers in their childhood and now that I’m a parent I need him there for them too.