Watching movies is something that I love to do, but so often, by the time I get home, get organized, maybe squeeze in a walk with my husband and dog, eat dinner, and get settled in to watch a movie, it’s late. Well, late for me. What almost always happens is that about halfway through the film, I start to doze. Just a few blinks at first, then some longer parts of the movie seem to disappear, and finally, I just give up and go to bed, always promising (but almost never actually following through on the promise) to watch the rest of the film another night.
But now that we are home for an extended period, I’ve decided to find time for movies (those that are on my long list of “to watch” as well as those that I’ve mostly slept through). I watched my first one last night. I finally saw A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a film about Mr. Rodgers, who is beautifully portrayed by Tom Hanks.
There is so much about this film that we need right now. A man (Mr. Rogers, of course) who is committed to helping others. His focus on helping children (in this film it is clear that he loves adults too) deal with their feelings in positive ways seems so essential in the middle of this COVID-19 crisis. Watching this film made me wish that his show was on the air every morning. I know he would address this situation head on (as he dealt with so many difficult topics) and help kids (and the rest of us) find ways to deal with our fear and anxiety in constructive ways.
At one point, near the end of the film, Mr Rodgers says, “If your fears become mentionable, they become manageable.” I’m going to say it right here. I’m scared. I wish we all had Mr. Rodgers (and King Friday XIII, Queen Sarah, Henrietta Pussycat, X the Owl, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, Daniel Tiger, and Grandpere) right here, right now to help us navigate this situation.