“When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” ― Fred Rogers
One of the television shows I'm most grateful for in Maeve's life is an echo of one that meant a lot to me as a child: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. This week the show is focusing on what they call "big feelings" which is a coincidence, as I always liked to call Maeve's huge outbursts of emotion "big feelings", too. And I'm grateful for the subject matter, as Maeve is going to say goodbye to Teenie Greenies this week and we'll have a lot of feelings to talk about when our beloved store is closed.
It's hard for me to convey how much Mr. Rogers meant to me as a child. He seemed to understand that I often felt shy, or angry, or afraid, and he kept on telling me it was okay to have feelings, even what I considered to be bad ones. He sang about how he liked me, just how I was, way down deep inside of me, which was a place I was sure no one really liked.
Now, Mr. Rogers was no Jim Henson, his puppets were simple, and they all sounded like him, but his show was a balm to my soul, always. And when Maeve is having a rough day, I often turn to Daniel Tiger to give her a calm place to think things through. I also love how the show gives me such great parenting tools; I really learn a lot from how Daniel's parents respond to their kid. How his mother even draws him a picture of what the doctor's office looks like so Daniel knows what to expect, and his dad is careful to ask him how he feels when he notices Daniel frowning.
We learned from Daniel yesterday that "It's okay to feel sad sometimes; little by little you'll feel better again." I feel like I'm going to be singing that to myself for years to come.