Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was one of my favorite shows growing up. Now my little girl has started watching it, thanks to DVDs from the library. There are some annoying things about Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I don't like that Fred Rogers is the voice for so many of the puppets in the Neighborhood of Make Believe, especially Henrietta Pussycat! Her voice is definitely the most annoying, "Meow Meow, yes. Meow Meow, thank you," *cringe*.
But watching Mr. Rogers the past few days, I've realized why he's so appealing...He's slow, he's quiet, he's gentle. The kid shows today are all on fast-forward, from Barney to Blue's Clues, to Dora the Explorer. Everything is fast, everything is loud, nothing is slow or quiet or gentle.
All the moms and dads I really admire have that quality of gentleness. They are "slow to anger, rich in kindness." They are quiet when they discipline their children, even quiet when they talk to me. And they aren't in a rush. Sometimes I feel like I never slow down, rarely take a moment to stop and smell the roses with the girls, especially if we are running late. But I'm trying harder. Trying to enjoy the birds and the little flowers and the bugs the girls notice as we're going somewhere or doing something important.
What I am realizing is that those moments are more important than making it into Mass or into my meeting 20 seconds later (though I should be early enough for 20 seconds not to make a difference!). What I am realizing is that the girls react to things the way I react, they treat each other the way I treat them, they use the same voice tones that Steven and I do.
And so I'm motivated by Mr. Rogers. In fact, I've been brought to tears watching some show clips on YouTube yesterday and watching him receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Lifetime Achievement Award on the Emmys which were clips on the DVD. I hope I can learn to be slower, and meeker, and quieter, and gentler through God's grace. Did you know Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister? What a man!