The Stories Behind This Expression

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Those who have followed my blog for a while know I’m a big fan of Fred Rogers, and I’ve probably written five different posts here about him. Well, here comes another.

Earlier this week, I watched a Youtube video of Fred Rogers that pieced together a couple of different clips. It starts with a brief quote from Joanne Rogers, who was married to Fred for many years. She’s asked what Fred was like as a father and a grandfather. Next, the video shows the two moments when Fred and Joanne’s son Jim appeared on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. First, as a child, he makes paper hats with his Dad. Then, twenty years later, Jim brings his own son, Alexander, for a visit.

All of this is very dear. Then, the part most touching to me happens at 3:25. Jim and Alex walk out the door after saying goodbye. Next, Fred Rogers turns around to the camera and makes an expression and sound of joy. It’s so genuine and in the moment that it seems almost involuntary. He says, “I was just thinking how good it feels to know that you’ve felt somebody to grow.”

It’s very sweet. Have a watch:

It made me wonder how many stories are behind that expression of spontaneous joy. . . how many connections. . . how many stories of growth. . . how many stories of struggle that turned into growth. . . how many different moments of wonder. . .

There are a lot of stories behind that expression, I am sure.

And we might think about those stories in our own lives too. There are more than can be counted. After all, “We all help each other to grow.”

Renee Roederer

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