Thank you Mr. Rogers…

I wanted to thank Mr. Rogers, Mr. Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers neighbourhood.

I can’t be absolutely sure but he may have helped me raise my children.

Let me explain.

This morning I took the time to watch the documentary about Mr.Rogers on Netfix. I don’t remember watching him in my own childhood because I am starting to get up there in years and he wasn’t on air when I was tiny. When he was on the air, I was already in school. I also happened to live where we didn’t have access to TV during the day.

My first introduction to him, at least the one I can remember, was when I was fifteen going on sixteen. To finish high school, I moved in with a lovely family who had a young fella. Since I had been his sitter before moving in with them and lived with them for about five months, we got a few chances to cuddle together in a big armchair while he watched the show. My teenage brain didn’t appreciate Mr. Rogers quiet ways but Chris loved him.

In watching his documentary and listening to the way he spoke to children in moments of sadness and stress, there was a flash or recognition in how I spoke to my children when things were scary for their grandparents or for their dad. I must admit their dad, my hubby, gave us plenty of practice

My parenting style was to talk to my kids about the hard subjects in a quiet straight forward way in language appropriate for their age. I would ask if they had any question and answered them to the best of my abilities. I would explain they had no responsabilities in the situation. I would invite them to ask their questions if new ones came up. Then I would talk about something ordinay like what they wanted for supper.

It seems, my adolescent brain heard something that must have left a mark, one that helped me when life took such enexpected turns.

Let me take this moment to thank the spirit of Mr. Rogers, the quiet presence of someone who can see others, who gives them a sense of their own value. We need more of these quiet heroes who make one feel to be enough; a person who unites, accepts and cares for others.

In his honour, may we do what he asked the audience during a commencement speech. May we take a minute to think of someone who made a difference for us.

Now it is our turn.May we be the ones who make a difference for someone else. May we help them feel heard and validated whether it be children, the eldery, the sick, and anyone else who does not feel empowered or worthy..