Last week I spent my Saturday re-binge watching season 7 of Gilmore Girls. I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a ‘meh’ week and I’d been feeling a tad crappy. Gilmore Girls has always been my go-to feel good series, and that’s how I found myself holed up in my office turned cinema for the day while the kids and Mr C had their day together playing in the garden and generally being playful fools. I paused my cinema day only to prepare food, eat food, and pop out for the occasional cuddle and chat with the kids.
Be Who You Want To Be
As I got to the final episode of (what used to be) the final series, it suddenly struck me that something had shifted. Years ago when I first started watching the series, totally at random because it happened to be on some unknown Freeview channel one afternoon when I was sat in my one-bedroom flat at a loss of what to do (remember those days?!) I had always felt closer to the character of the daughter, Rory. She was young, ambitious, worked hard, and was always herself no matter what anyone else thought of her. The relationship between mother and daughter was something I was totally envious of, my relationship with my own mother being as turbulent as it was.
As she grew up, she ended up dating a
fit rich boy handsome guy from a good background, and developed into a stylish young woman destined for big things. Her head was always in a book, and she was determined to forge a career as a print journalist. It was like she was written for me (sans the fit rich boy bit!).
From Daughter to Mother
Watching the show again at the weekend, I realised that I didn’t identify with her as much anymore. I identify with her mum. I mean, it stands to reason I suppose, because I’m a mum now, but for some reason the idea came as a surprise to me. And the more I think about, the more I realise how having children of my own has helped to come to some kind of peace about the relationship I had with my own mum growing up. Instead of watching the show and dreaming of an alternate reality in which I might be able to sit and drink endless cups of coffee with my mum, know that she would be there whenever I needed her, and feel that unerring sense of her pride in me, now it feels different.
Now when I watch the show, it’s from a whole new angle. I feel all the emotions of Lorelai much more deeply than I ever could have before. I long for the days that Amelia and I will be able to catch up over long and endless cups of coffee (we already enjoy a sneaky babyccino together, so I think I’m half way there!) I can see a future when the kids will call me to celebrate the highs and cry about the lows. I feel excited about who they’re going to become, and all the things that have yet to happen to make me feel that bursting pride; you know the kind when you just think you might either explode or melt.
Maybe it’s because of my relationship with my own mum, maybe it’s because the show is about a mum and daughter, or maybe it’s a just a girl thing, but I feel things more acutely in terms of my relationship with Amelia. That’s not to say that I feel them any less for Wills, it just feels different in a way for us girls. Not different better or different worse, just different.
So, Can You Fix the Past?
I was afraid of having a daughter. I was afraid that our relationship would be like mine with my mum, that maybe I wouldn’t love her. That somehow the pain my mum suffered with her own mum, and the trials between her and I, would continue with me and my daughter. Now she is here, and she’s amazing (biased much?!) and our relationship is solid and overflowing with love, it’s almost as though it’s fixed something that was missing for me. It’s repaired how I view mother-daughter bonds.
So now when I watch Gilmore Girls, it isn’t with a kind of mournful awe, but with a nervous excitement for what’s to come. Now, rather than wondering if it was something I did, I know that it will be because of something I’m doing, and it will be different.
Of Course! By Creating a Better Future.
I hope one day, like Rory and Lorelai, that Amelia and I will know that I’ve given her everything she needs to go forth and rock womanhood in whatever way she so chooses. That she will have had everything she needs to live her life with style, poise, and grace, and that she will know what it means to work hard and succeed in whatever she chooses to do. And that whatever she chooses to do she will always have the support and love of her mum. And, if she needs to come home, I will be here, ready to drink endless cups of coffee with her and support her through whatever she needs without judgement or disapproval. Well… there might be a bit of quiet disapproval, there ain’t no saints here!