I remember watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood when I was a little kid and absolutely loving how happy the characters were in the show. There usually was a short segment where Mr. Rogers would meet someone in the community that explained what they did, like the postman or the fireman, and they would be so excited to show him all about their careers and where they worked. Now, as an adult, I realize that all careers and jobs have their good days and bad days. You sometimes wonder if there really are people who would be proud to show Mr. Rogers around their workplace and explain to all the kids what it is they do. Well, recently, just at the end of this summer, I’ve discovered that there are most definitely people who are.
I had a doctor’s appointment near Citizen’s hospital a few weeks ago. Usually, my husband is able to take the kids, and go into the hospital for a pastry or walk over to see the emergency helicopter pad and wait for it to land. This time, I met all three of my boys with huge, beaming faces. My oldest exclaimed, “Mommy, we met the pilot!” Of course, I had no idea what they were talking about, but I found out that they met the pilot and co-pilot of the emergency helicopter as they were going up with a maintenance man. My oldest was able to ask all sort of questions about what equipment they use, what they do, and where they take the helicopter. They were even taken a bit closer to peak inside. My husband was impressed and surprised that they would take the time to speak to the kids, despite them being so young.
A few days later, my husband took my oldest to the barbershop with him for some one-on-one time. They parked near the car of a State Trooper and walked over to check in. Of course, my husband does this on purpose, because there’s nothing cooler for a little boy or even a grown man to take a peak. He checks in, and takes our child into the place next door to get a smoothie. As predicted, the State Trooper was inside buying one of his own. Apparently, my son tries to get his attention, and despite my husbands’ efforts to get him to leave the poor officer alone, he eventually does and asks, “How do you keep the entire state safe?” This makes the officer laugh, and they get into a nice conversation about being a police officer.
I am glad that there are still people out there who are proud of the work they do for their community, and thankful that they took the time to speak to my children and hopefully plant the seeds of all the many things they can do in their future. I especially appreciate that these experiences happened with my husband since, as a mother, it feels like I’m the only one who has all the surprises with the kids. So, if they are not obviously busy, don’t hesitate to greet and thank these hard community servants. You might get a little taste of TV perfection yourself.