What I can learn from Daniel Tiger

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…

If you have a child under the age of five living in your home, it’s likely you’ve overheard an episode or two of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  (Sidenote: even if you aren’t a parent, you should at least check out episode four, in which Daniel Tiger visits the crayon factory.  Yes!  The crayon factory episode, from the original Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, can be relived!)  Daniel has some great songs, some great messages, a family favorite is, “I like you. I like you. I like you just the way you are.”

So, aside from some nice jingles, and reminders to stop playing and go potty right away, what can you (yes, you, an adult) learn from Daniel Tiger?  It’s winter here in Michigan.  Yes, it is only mid-November, but it is hats, mitten, and heated-seats time.  The pine branches outside my window are already heavy with winter.  The radio has been littered with slide-off announcements, and my Facebook feed has been cluttered with angry emoticons and virtual fist shakes at Winter’s early entrance.  So, back to Daniel Tiger; in Charlotte’s favorite episode Daniel  sings, “When something seems bad, turn it around.  And, find something good.”

Just to see you smile

7:30 a.m. I quietly shuffled into Beckett’s room; I was careful as I walked past the rooms which held his two sleeping sisters.  His room was dark on this cool fall day; the light of the sun hadn’t filled his windows yet. I scooped his swaddled self up and pulled his face close to mine. After his eyes fluttered awake, he squinted at me and then, he grinned.
If you’re a parent, you know well that heart swelling that accompanies your baby’s toothless smiles.  You know the choking that rises up in your throat and the immediate stretching of your own cheeks into a smiley response. If you’re not a parent, keep reading; let’s talk about your Abba Father.