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Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

In 2000, I was newly married and everything in life was ahead of me. I stumbled onto the show Gilmore Girls and I fell in love at first show. You see, I never had a great relationship with my own mom. There was nothing wrong with our relationship; other than we are complete opposites but I love my mom but we were never “friends”. My best friend in college had that kind of relationship with her mom and I was always envious because who wouldn’t want their mom to be their best friend. Gilmore Girls was a wonderful representation of what I dreamed of having with my mom and exactly the kind of relationship I hoped to someday have with my own daughters but it was all hypothetical.

Fast forward five years and I had my own little girl. I remember watching the opening credits of Gilmore Girls rolling with Carole King singing Where You Lead in the background and my toddler dancing to the music and my heart filled with so much love that it nearly burst because it was everything I felt for my daughter. To this day, every single time I hear that song, I smile because I think of that great, big love that I have for my girls; the unbreakable love and sisterhood that you can only be felt between a certain kind of relationship between a mother and daughter. It’s the kind of relationship I have with my girls.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Fast forward, 11 years and here I sit Thanksgiving weekend watching Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life with my two daughters and all I can feel is blessed. When I first watched the show, the relationship between Lorelai and Rory was something I wished for but never had and now, it is something I have times two. I know not every mother and daughter have that symbiotic, complete each other’s sentences and thoughts, talk in circles; six degrees of separation logic understanding but we do and it is even more special than I ever imagined.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

I know that the show was a writer’s creation but the relationship, there had to be some foundation in reality to actually “get it” so dead on. It exists.

Spoiler alert; If you haven’t already seen it and don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now.

I love the way the story picks up a decade or so later. It gave us time to see growth in the characters. It gave Lorelai and Luke time to figure stuff out, it gave Rory wings to fly and get some distance and become her own woman and it gave all the characters time to expand and contract; become three-dimensional, not simply two-dimensional caricatures of reality. Sometimes life is hard and sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned and sometimes your person can’t fix all of it. Bad things happen to good people and life is complicated and messy and it can’t all be wrapped up fully in a nice bow in an hour-long episode; only if it were.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Relationships are work and sometimes people have to get hurt to learn their lessons. That is life and we don’t always make the right choices. Sometimes we follow our hearts and it leads us down a path of reckless abandonment and, while it might be the greatest adventure of our life, it just isn’t realistically feasible to sustain long-term. Sometimes we have to let go before we’re ready. Sometimes we have to fight for what we want and sometimes life throws us so many curveballs that we just don’t know which way is up but in the end, life works out even if it’s not the way we planned because that is what living is all about; the experiences…the journey. It’s all our journey.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life was unexpected for me. Things didn’t go as planned but I loved seeing the progression. It’s like going home and catching up with all the people you grew up with. Most of the time, the reality is very different from what any of you imagined it would be but it’s okay and it’s just nice to have those people who you knew when. I loved watching it with my own Rorys (wrapped up together in a soft blanket as we ate pop tart biscotti and Red Vines) and I loved the messy way it all turned out because, in life, there is seldom a direct path from point A to Point B but you can get there a million different ways.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

I don’t know what Netflix plans to do but I would love to see more of the Gilmore Girls and see how their messy wonderful story turns out. It ended in a way that the reboot almost felt like it could be a repeat. Things were similar but at the same time, completely different and unfamiliar. Nothing was as we expected and at the same time, it was exactly as we left it. I don’t want to spoil anything for my fellow Gilmore Girls fans so I will leave you with this; if you loved the original Gilmore Girls franchise, you should watch A Year in the Life with an open mind and an open heart and remember that the good parts of life are seldom planned and all the real living happens when your plans go out the window.

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Gilmore Girls, #Streamteam, Netflix, mother/daughter relationship

As I walked around downtown earlier this week with my daughter and her friends,  I watched her. Not like a crazy stalker or anything, but like a sociologist studying human behavior. Have you ever really watched your children, when they don’t know anyone’s paying attention? They are pretty incredible.

She’s 9-years-old, she’s growing up so fast. She’s not the little kid who clung to me anymore. She is independent and funny, quirky, smart and kind. I see her give hello smiles to elderly women, I watch as she holds the door for the mother with small kids and I see her begin to think before she speaks. My heart is filled with pride. I did that or at least, I had a hand in it.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things I’m most thankful for and there is nothing I’m more thankful for than my girls and the gift of being their mother. I know parents are not supposed to be their kid’s “friend” because it blurs the line of authority but I’m not sure that I believe that entirely. I want my girls to know that no matter what, I have their back but I also want them to respect me enough as their mother to not take advantage of that relationship.I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about anything without fear of judgment. Motherhood is a tricky balance of full on never-ending, unconditional love,  complete trust and respecting the relationship  just enough to listen to one another, even when they don’t want to.

When Bella was a toddler, the Big Guy and I used to watch the Gilmore Girls. Every week the theme song would start playing and my toddler would get super excited (in that way that only toddlers can) and start dancing in that bouncy little way that cruisers do; with a smile from ear to ear. That child made me fall in love with the Gilmore Girls.

I remember watching and imagining having the kind of mother/daughter relationship with my girl as Lorelai Gilmore had with her daughter, Rory. My toddler was dancing and I was dreaming about 15 years down the road, secretly hoping she’d want me to be her best friend one day.

The show ended and time passed, I had another daughter. Life moved on. We stepped on this ride of children growing up and it just keeps speeding up. There is so much going on in our day-to-day that it’s hard to ever see the big picture these days. Parenthood is truly the definition of not being able to see the forest for the trees but once in awhile when we slow down, for just a moment and notice, we can see all the potential of what this all means like when I watched my girl on the field trip, navigating the city, catching snowflakes on her tongue and being just a little silly but still cooler than I ever was at her age. I can see the Rory she is becoming.

I still see that toddler bouncing around to Carole King singing Where You Lead. It gets me every damn time. This is what parenthood is; misery peppered with profound moments of bliss. Honestly, its more like hours on end of minutia where all the real memories are made; the menial tasks of the day-to-day. The long talks about nothing, the goodnight kisses, the laughter and the tears. The good stuff happens when you aren’t even paying attention; the growing up and the growing closer . I’ve come to realize that there is  something closer than a toddler’s unadulterated blind love for her mommy and that is a child, a young lady, a woman …a daughter, who chooses you. I blame the Gilmore Girls because it made me believe that moms and daughters can be best friends. That’s what I’ve hoped and planned for.

For now, we’ll be cuddled up on the sofa with our girls watching the Gilmore Girls together on Netflix because BONUS, Gilmore Girls are on Netflix and in January Friends is coming!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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