I feel a little silly writing this letter.
Mainly because… well… you’re a fictional character.
But I believe I speak on behalf of millions of fans across the globe when I say that, despite the fact you don’t actually exist, you have impacted my life.
You were there for me in high school, when tuning in to watch your show was a deeply cherished weekly ritual between me and my own mother. You were there for me in college, when gathering with a handful of girlfriends to witness your current relationship woes (Team Luke forever!) was a small but comforting reminder of home. And you were there for me as I learned to be a mother myself, when I cried right along with my colicky baby girl and prayed that postpartum depression would someday give way to the camaraderie and true friendship that I witnessed between you and your own sweet girl.
I’ve binge-watched your show more times than I can count, and despite my deep love for all things Stars Hollow, Paul Anka, Hep Alien, and Miss Patty’s, the predominant impression I am left with time and time again is this:
You are a hot mess of a mother.
And dare I say, this is the very reason you are one of the most beloved TV moms of all time?
You’ve been a hot mess from the beginning. As a pregnant sixteen-year-old prep school dropout, you embodied everything we pray our daughters will NOT grow up to be. And yet you picked up the pieces of your crumbling life and deliberately rebuilt a new future.
You got a job. You humbled yourself enough to scrub toilets for a living because you knew that providing for your daughter was your primary focus. But you were also brave enough to further your education and pursue your dreams. Because you knew that a mom with a goal is one of the most powerful forces on planet earth, that shelving your passions and ignoring your drive and denying your aspirations don’t have to be part of the deal.
You showed us that it’s okay to be a mother and a dreamer.
You did nothing – I repeat nothing – by the book. You shook off the chains of your very privileged, very dysfunctional upbringing and determined to chart your own course. You refused to feel guilty for not parenting by high society standards, for not following the rules, for not reading the latest “how-to” books, for not granting your child’s every wish and whim. You fully and wholeheartedly accepted yourself as a mother and chose to ignore (and most likely mock) those who criticized your methods. At the end of the day, you always did what was best for your daughter. And you found peace in that knowledge.
You showed us that it’s okay to find your own parenting style and embrace it.
And lastly, through every life change, through every broken relationship and personal sacrifice and total curve ball to your plans, you showed us that having a child is never an inconvenience. When you became pregnant with Rory, your world was turned upside down. But you chose to bring that baby into the world, chose to do this incredibly hard work by yourself, chose to walk away from toxic relationships and forge a new life that would give both of you the best chances for success. You gave up money and influence and connections, and you gained laughter and love and blessings beyond your wildest dreams. You worked harder than you ever fathomed you would have to work, and you did it all without losing your stellar sense of humor. (“Oy with the poodles already!”)
You showed us that our children are worth it. Every day, no matter how hard and how tedious and how thankless the work, our children are always worth it.
Yes, Lorelai, you are a hot mess of a mother. (Aren’t we all?) But you are raw and real and wonderfully transparent, and there is just something so refreshing about a mom who refuses to feed the pretense that it’s even possible to have it all together all the time. (Pop-Tart appetizer for the rich Chilton kids, anyone?)
You’ve taught me that self-deprecation and caffeine go a long way, that the ability to laugh at yourself is one of life’s greatest gifts, and that it really is okay to be a hot mess mama.
And for that I will always be grateful.
I can’t wait to introduce you to my daughters someday.