I had been out all day-
My nerves were shot,
my feet were tired-
but my long list of chores
was finally completed at last.
I couldn't wait
to get home and relax.
I hadn't thought much about it before-
this routine that I go through
when I get back home from some place...
...I usually toss off my uncomfortable shoes
and replace them with sneakers if I'm
going back outside...
I'll hum a little tune...
and I put on my favorite old sweater...
And today for the first time
I've turned into Mr. Rogers!
It's crazy, I know-
but hauntingly real at the same time.
My husband is so much like King Friday
and my sister sometimes acts like
Lady Elaine Fairchilde!
And my mail lady
is suspiciously starting to
look like Mr. McFeely!
I'm starting to speak softer,
dream about field trips,
and sing silly songs!
And sometimes I imagine myself
in the Neighborhood of Make Believe.
God help me if I go out
and buy a little trolley car!
So-upon this sudden realization-
I decided to do a little research
into the role-model
I had apparently morphed into.
Here's what I found out :
Every sweater that Fred Rogers wore
was hand knit by his mother.
Upon meeting Mr. Rogers for the first time,
Koko the Gorilla, (who learned
up to 1,000 words in sign language),
greeted him with a big hug-
then proceeded to take his shoes off of him!
Mr. Rogers weighed himself every single day.
He stayed at 143 pounds for the last
30 years of his life.
He found peace in the number 143.
He explained it by saying that
it takes one letter to say "I'.
Four letters to say "love".
And three letters to say "you".
He was genuinely kind.
While on a trip to a PBS executive's house,
he discovered that the limo driver
was expected to wait in the car for 2 hours.
Mr. Rogers invited him to come in and join them.
Later, Fred rode in the front seat
and he asked to meet the driver's family.
They went to the chauffeur's house,
played jazz piano and
talked throughout the night.
The two shared notes and
stayed in touch the rest of his life.
maybe it's not that bad-
-Me turning into Mr. Rogers and all...
(Except I haven't got the weight thing
going for me yet ...)
We could all aspire to be like him.
With kindness toward others
and positive thoughts,
we could actually improve our quality of life.
...Just wake up one morning and realize-
it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!
(Originally posted March 18, 2010)