Yes. It’s true. We are a family of Mr. Rogers’ mini-me’s.
I just caught myself making the correlation between one of his daily rituals and a habit of ours.
As soon as we enter our home (sooner for my husband), we remove our outside shoes and don slippers. Coats come off and I add a sweater to keep me cozy, as our indoor temperatures never get above 66 in the winter.
This process is reversed as we prepare to leave. Away go the slippers and on go the outside shoes. My sweater is tucked away and a jacket or coat is worn to protect me from the elements.
Do you remember what Mr. Rogers did each time he came inside at the beginning of his show and and reversed at the end of the show?
Mr. Rogers removed his outside shoes and replaced them with indoor shoes. He also took off his outdoor jacket and put on an indoor cardigan, all the while singing about the beauty of the day in the neighborhood. Yes. That song.
Mr. Rogers was so organized. He didn’t just toss those shoes and jacket on a couch or floor. He tucked away the shoes and carefully placed the jacket on a sweater in the closet. I may occasionally toss my sweater on the washer, but I also have a designated cupboard right by the door for jackets, and shoe racks for both of us.
You have no idea how many times I compare myself to Mr. Rogers when I change gear as I am going out or coming back inside the house. I think his habits were ingrained in my subconcious as I watched his television show. Maybe that was one of his purposes, to model tidiness, organization, and care for our belongings.
And this is a good thing. We are a shoes-off household. Not only does this habit keep icky germs and gunk on shoe bottoms out of the house, it also provides a cleaner environment for my babies to crawl around on and plenty of (mostly) dirt-free floor space for playtime. Mr. Rogers’ transfer of clothes and shoes fits perfectly with our efforts to keep as much of the outdoors, well, outdoors.
That Mr. Rogers was ahead of his time, yet many considered him a fuddy-duddy. I disagree. He was a great role model.
Sitting here in my cardigan sweater and indoor slippers, just humming a certain melody.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, isn’t it?