Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where you lead . . . I will follow.

The blurb at the top of the ad for Life Unexpected (from The CW) reads "Juno meets Gilmore Girls." Oh, do not tease me with such promises, TV Guide Magazine.*

My beloved Entertainment Weekly writes of Lauren Graham, set to star in the upcoming show Parenthood (her first post-Gilmore Girls series): "Lauren walked into this role like she was born to play it." I am guardedly optimistic.

I miss Gilmore Girls. A lot. Here's why . . .

Bub was born in January. Though my baby Bub was cute as anything, my transition into motherhood was not easy. It was cold. I was lonely. I felt incompetent. He lost weight. Nursing did not come naturally. As most babies do, he awoke several times every night and indeed did not sleep through until he was a year. Also, he did not nap during the day without being held, strolled, or driven in a car for many, many months. I rarely showered. I wore elastic waist pants only. I was tired and ugly. I was overweight (45 pounds gained in pregnancy and at least 15 over my fighting weight when I got pregnant). I unwisely decided to get bangs cut. I ate frosted animal crackers like it was my job. An unfinished dissertation hovered above me like a dark, depressing rain cloud.

I loved my baby but not my day-to-day life.

Yes, I got help and encouragement from family, friends, and my hubby. People brought meals, sent emails, visited, and called to check in. All good. I was and am loved. NTB.

But on the days when I was home alone with my little guy, there was another group of people who helped me make through it each day: the citizens of Stars Hollow.

On a whim, I purchased Season One of Gilmore Girls a couple of weeks before Bub was born. Once I determined that he was going to continue to wake up and scream every time I tried to place him (already sleeping) in his pack-and-play, crib, or infant carrier, I just decided that I needed him to be asleep more than I needed to be hands free. I'd gather everything I needed--snack, drink, cell, regular phone, remote controls, book, boppy--and sit down on the couch. I'd nurse Bub. He'd fall asleep. As he slept on the boppy on my lap, I would tee up episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Sure, some days I ruined the moment by opening a granola bar too loudly or not answering the phone quickly enough, but usually, I got through at least an episode (sometimes two or three) before he awoke and I had to figure out what to do next. Gilmore Girls gave me everything I needed during those naps--witty humor, heart, the most unique supporting characters on television, escape into the small-town fantasy world of Stars Hollow, romance, family drama, insight into parent-child relationships, a reminder that love and family are imperfect, and, eventually, Sebastian Bach.

I had never seen the show before that time even though it had been on television for years. Since Bub's birth, I have seen every episode in order but only one time each. It was such a joy to fall in love with a show and then be able to watch every single episode.

When I look back on those first months with Bub, I know it was hard and that I really struggled, but memory has blurred to the extent that I now also think of those months as cozy and comfortable and peaceful. My love of the Gilmore Girls is all wrapped up in the many memories and emotions of that transitional, special time.

My life with two young children is good now. Some days are long, but I know (more or less) what I'm doing, and I have two really happy, healthy, beautiful boys. I make plenty of mistakes, but I make sure they always know how much they are loved. I have a sense of calm and content (most of the time--there are major exceptions) that I could not have imagined as a brand new mom. I love my good, sweet boys. I know they love me.

I also have a daughter on the way with whom I hope to sit on a comfy couch someday and watch every single episode of Gilmore Girls. In anticipation of her arrival, I got out Gilmore Girls Season One, Episode One this morning and watched as I folded the laundry.

I like knowing I have all of it--the show and motherhood--to experience all over again.

What about you? Any memories of early days of motherhood? Any favorite Gilmore Girls moments? Carole King songs? Please share.

*responsible for the blurb--as a point of pride, I am not a TV Guide Magazine subscriber


Sara said...

Oh, Meg, my mom just finished the whole series just a few hours ago, and she's feeling sad, I think. I love the show more than one should love a show--and maybe because I too have the emotional connections to it (I watched the Dance Marathon one while in labor with Julia).

I can't believe you've only seen the episodes only once. I keep some on my DVR and rotate them when I need a pick-me-up or need background noise (wrapping Xmas presents and such).

Oh, how I miss those Gilmore Girls. And Kirk.

LAP said...

Sara, I was so happy to read your comment, to know that my passion for the series and need to watch certain episodes repeatedly is not abnormal. I will summarize some of my favorite moments to rewatch,(also saved on my DVR):
I guess I should say Spoiler Alert in case anyone is reading who thinks they want to go back and watch the series???
1. Karaoke. "I Will Always Love You" came on in the car last week and my 5 year old daughter said, "Oh this is the Lorelei song." Do you think I watch it often?
2. The First Date with the Horoscope Scene. Also enjoy the town meeting where Luke concedes the town to Lorelei in the event of a breakup and she asks him to tell about the horoscope.
3. The Opening of the Dragonfly.
4. Bon Voyage. I watch, always hoping that somehow the episode gets extended and we get to see a little more of the happily ever after in Stars Hollow.

So much more that I love. Emily, Paris, so many good characters.

MEP - To answer your question, Dawsons Creek was my go to show (watched entire series) after Fancy was born. THis was pre DVR days so it actually took some planning to catch the episodes in order. I will also admit that ABC Family ran day long catch ups on all Secret Life of the American Teenager episodes just days after Wookie was born. While m had the other girls I was able to catch up in no time and sadly, (as it an odd show where quasi wholesome teenagers say the word "sex" excessively) have remained a viewer. At a holiday party I was approached by another mom who gave birth a couple weeks before me and that mom asked me if by chance I watched Secret Life. She revealed that she got hooked during marathon and was hoping that I had too so that we could discuss the new season.

Michelle said...

I loved Gilmore Girls too. I don't have the dvd's, but that may be a worthy investment. I just saw the preview for Parenthood yesterday and got super excited!

Everything about the show was wonderful. If I have a daughter one day....I may actually name her Lorelai. ;-0

Thanks for bringing back memories of the made me smile!

Sue and Randy said...

My sister sent me DVDs of Big Love and Weeds after my second was born. Strange that I associate that time with polygamy and pot, what whatever gets you through the day!
I do love discovering a show, knowing that I will like it and having all these episodes in front of me to devour. I'm going through that now with Mad Men. It all started when Colleen mentioned that Mad Men was on "on demand" with Comcast that night we had dinner last fall.

Actchy said...

Naturally, I've never seen Gilmore Girls. But I associate Acey's early days with an Elizabeth Mitchell CD, "You are my little bird" which came as a baby gift. I remember being holed up in the first snow of 2009, nursing Acey in our new glider, listening to the gentle folk music. It wasn't all idealic for us, but most of what I remember has the blur of joyful relaxation that your memories of Baby Bub has.

CaraBee said...

I did watch Gilmore Girls when it was on, although I didn't last the whole series. It kind of lost me when Rory went away to college. I do like Lauren Graham, though, and look forward to Parenthood.

I didn't have one show that got me through early motherhood. Honestly, I don't remember those days all that well. They are a blur of sore boobies and sleepless nights. At some point, my saving grace became blogging, but that wasn't until Sophie was at least 6 months old. Basically, I have a six month whole in my memory. Sigh.

E... said...

I have so much love for Gilmore Girls that I fear my comment here may turn into a full fledged post of its own. Not too long ago, J and I were watching something. I can't remember what right now, maybe it was The Proposal? When a new minor character came on, I shouted "Kirk!!" as if a long lost family member had just arrived on my doorstop. It made me so homesick to see him, even as another character.
I too, watched a fair number of episodes of Gilmore Girls while I was in the nursing/nesting stage of new motherhood. Also, this is when I first discovered The Amazing Race, back when they aired all the seasons on the Game Show Network, and I DVR'd them all.
I remember singing "If you leave..." to O. often as a lullaby. I have a t-shirt that says "Reading Is Sexy" that I ordered after I saw Rory wearing it, the only item I have ever looked up and purchased in conjunction with a tv show (though I was tempted by a Slap Bet Commissioner t-shirt!). I feel the urge to utter "Oy with the poodles" more often than I care to admit.
I have only one episode saved on my DVR -- the final one. And though it's not my favorite, I can't BEAR to erase it, even when I'm 94% full.
I think we should plan right now a mother/daughter viewing party for 2022.

E... said...

Obviously meant "Where you Lead " as lullaby up there, not the Pretty in Pink soundtrack song, though that might be nice, too.

Nap Warden said...

Oh how I miss my Gilmore Girls *sniff* I can't quote any moments (mainly because those girls talked a lot)

I'm totally going to watch the new show though;)

Maggie said...

I used to DVR Sex and the City, which was on tv on two channels, 4total episodes per night, then watch it during my nighttime feedings. Sometimes I even stayed up a little longer holding A in my arms if it was a really great one!

Also, having a baby when the Olympics are on is kind of fun. I got to see all of the gymnastics and swimming that I'd ever want to see in a lifetime!!!

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