As a highly sensitive person I have a hard time finding “Jamie approved” shows to watch, so I decided to give it a try.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, Gilmore Girls tells the story of a single mom (Lorelai Gilmore) raising her only child, daughter Rory (16-years-old when the series begins). Because Lorelai had Rory when she was only sixteen, their relationship often mirrors that of close friends rather than mother/daughter.
In all honesty, I nearly stopped watching early in the first season. The whole “Chilton high school cool kids vs. Rory” storyline almost did me in. But I’m so glad I stuck with it!
And how could I not? The show takes place in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a small village so similar to my own. Most of the references to real-life landmarks, roads, towns, etc. are right in my own backyard.
So of course I had to go explore them!
Last weekend my friend, writing colleague, and fellow GG fan Kara Anderson flew to my neck of the woods. We then drove 30 minutes north, to the tiny village Amy Sherman-Palladino was visiting when she had the idea for Gilmore Girls.
We walked the streets of Washington Depot, stayed at an Inn in honor of Lorelai, and ate pop-tarts, french fries, and peanut butter cups in celebration of the girls’ dreadful eating habits.
We had a bit of a Gilmore Girls marathon too, finishing up the series for the second time in anticipation of the new episodes coming to Netflix soon, woot!
Watching Lorelai parent Rory as a single mom has also taught me a few things about motherhood. Here are a few Gilmore-inspired lessons that I want to keep in my back pocket as I navigate the upcoming teen years with my own crew:
Coffee at the hardware store, in honor of Luke’s Diner! Yes, really–see the paint cans in the corner?!
1. Be 100% committed to your child–no matter what.
As a mother Lorelai is one of the clearest examples of unconditional love and support that I’ve seen modeled on screen. And to be completely honest, her example challenges me:
- When Rory decides to go to Yale instead of Harvard (which had always been her childhood dream), Lorelai quickly changes course to cheer her on.
- When she gets in a car accident, her mother drops everything to be there and to see things from Rory’s perspective.
- When Rory is put in jail for stealing a yacht, Lorelai suspends judgment until she hears the whole story.
The Mayflower Grace Inn, where Amy Sherman-Palladino had the idea for GG!
Not only is Lorelai there for Rory, she’s also her daughter’s biggest fan. Always singing her praises to others, no matter what has or hasn’t happened.
I don’t mean that she never voices concern or disagrees with Rory’s choices. But even when doing so, her commitment as a mother remains clear. As a homeschooling mom, I am often with my children–but I also need the reminder to be for them, instead of trying to always “teach” them.
Marty’s Cafe, the closest thing to Luke’s Diner in Washington Depot. Those doughnuts were good!
2. Don’t take things too seriously.
Lorelai has a brilliant sense of what genuinely matters when it comes to parenting, and she doesn’t pay much attention to the rest. As a result, she won’t allow the more driven Rory to take life too seriously either.
Sometimes I dwell on the serious as a mama. I can look at a minor issue one of my children has and convince myself that it’s going to ruin their future. I blame being an INFJ and Enneagram 4 for that perspective, but no matter the cause it isn’t fun to be around!
Lorelai’s example has reminded me to laugh more, stress less, and let things work themselves out. They usually do.
3. Support your child’s interests–even when they differ from your own.
Teenage Rory has been a total bookworm since childhood. One of my favorite scenes from the first season is when she takes a heavy book in her purse to a formal dance, “just in case.” You can even read your way through Gilmore Girls alongside her.
But let’s just say Rory didn’t pick up her love for the written word from her mom.
Yet Lorelai buys books, talks about books, fuels her daughter’s love for books, and even tries to get into some of the same titles.
You could so easily picture Rory in the stunning Hickory Stick Bookshop!
This mirrors my own upbringing, in which I naturally gravitated toward books and had parents who supported that even when it wasn’t their own passion.
I need this reminder to support and dive into my children’s interests–to show them that if they love something, I’ll try to love it, too!
If you’re thinking of watching GG with your kids, Common Sense Media rates it as appropriate for ages 13 and up.
My 13-year-old isn’t quite ready for the content, though, so look into their detailed descriptions here to determine whether it’s a a fit for you and yours. (In our case I’ve found that usually adding 2 years to their recommendations helps us find the right media picks for our family.)
Raise your hand if you’re also counting down until the new episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life release on November 25th!!
I had no idea when I began watching the series that it would be continued–what an unexpected blast!
I wonder what Lorelai will have to teach me this time…