jessica tholmer
Updated Apr 11, 2016 @ 10:08 am
Parenthood - Season 6
Credit: Colleen Hayes/ Getty Images

I’m just going to straight up tell you, that I am not a Gilmore Girls person. I am not not a Gilmore Girls person, but I also didn’t grow up watching it. I know, I’m sorry.

I am telling you this because I have a feeling that Lorelei Gilmore and Sarah Braverman overlap, at least lessons-wise. I have a feeling that some people might see this and be like, “BUT LORELEI DID IT FIRST” or whatever, maybe not. Maybe I am way off. Maybe I’ll never know! The point is, I really like Lauren Graham. I’m almost through my second viewing of Parenthood and I’m 100% sure that I don’t just like Lauren Graham, I love her. In the whole Braverman clan, I relate to Sarah (and Amber!) the most. So why not write about Sarah, you know? That’s what she would do.

Humor is a great defense mechanism
Much like good ol’ Chandler Bing, and plenty of other beloved TV characters, Sarah is quite the humorous lady and she often uses her quick wit to break up an uncomfortable moment or make an awkward conversation just a bit more bearable. One of the Sarah-isms I want to adopt is the wit, especially in uncomfortable situations. If I could just do like Sarah and make everyone laugh (or at least roll their eyes) during overly emotional moments, I swear I could handle anything.

Daughters are everything
Okay and I brought up the Gilmore Girls thing because I knowwwww that Lorelei and Rory basically invented the super-close mother and daughter relationship thing, but Amber and Sarah kinda kill it as well. Amber and Sarah have an extremely complicated relationship because of how close they are. The arguments they get into are huge and emotional and both of them are usually pretty right, IMO. Fights don’t matter in the Braverman family, though. The thing that matters is how inspiring their sweet moments are. This show is known for being a tear-jerker but for me personally, the Amber/Sarah moments get me the most. Sarah sees herself in her daughter (as most moms probably do) and through the good and the bad, Sarah is always so, so proud of her. And it makes me cry! Of course it does!

Credit: Colleen Hayes/ Getty Images

Be there for your kids
Another cool thing about Sarah is that she is always there for her kids. Seth (Amber and Drew’s dad and Sarah’s deadbeat ex-husband) is very much not there for his kids. He battles addiction, and that whole “never want to grow up” thing, and he just cannot be reliable for his children. Though Sarah still (and will always) love Seth, she puts her kids first, she makes sure they are well taken care of at all times, and perhaps most importantly, she lets them be who they are going to be. Instead of punishing Amber for her rebellious choices, she cautiously lectures her and supports her freedom instead. Instead of forcing Drew to break out of his comfort zone, Sarah acknowledges that he’s a pretty quiet and shy and smart kid and lets him flourish on his own. Though she has her moments of mom insecurity, Sarah ultimately is there for her kids, just as they are.

Dating is hard
I am not going to talk about Sarah Braverman without talking about dating. Sarah is the Braverman with the most relationship drama, which is funny because it kind of seems like it should be Crosby?? And no shame to her, because god knows I have my fair share of dating drama.

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Dating is hard. It’s hard for a 28-year-old, very unattached, semi-exuberant, cute gal like myself. And I don’t have kids, I don’t have a huge family waiting to judge, I don’t have much other than a cat who side-eyes anyone that comes over to my house. Sarah has two older kids with a lot of opinions, she has a huge family that she is very close to, she is constantly juggling potential career options, she has an ex-husband that she still loves, and she has a gigantic heart. I can relate to some of those things, but the big ol’ heart gets me the most.

What I admire and love about Sarah is that she is always willing to put herself out there. She never turns her back on Seth, she tries multiple times to make it work with Mark (much younger Mark!!!), she dates and eventually ends up with a difficult dude like Hank, and in between all that, she lets herself feel it out. I like that. I have dated a lot in between my longer term relationships, and though I have always loved the same person in the back of my mind (he’s not a Seth though!), I have never let that stop me from getting out there and dating around. I never wanted to be the person who only dated one guy, or only slept with one person, or didn’t have ground to stand on when it comes to a conversation about dating. At almost 30, I feel confident in my dating experiences, though like Sarah, I feel like I’ll settle down much later in life. Who cares about being conventional anyway, right?

Credit: Colleen Hayes/ Getty Images

Always have your family’s back
Though Zeek is obviously the Big Braverman Leader, Sarah is next in line for the title. Not only does she live with her parents Zeek and Camille, she has a really touching personal connection to not only her birth siblings, but to their spouses and children as well. Sarah maintains relationships with each Braverman and she even extends that to introducing the people in her life to her family. (See: Max and Hank’s amazing relationship.) Sarah has her family’s back always.

Protecting your kids is hard
Though Sarah is very supportive of her kids choices, no matter how unique or untraditional they may be, she also tries very hard to protect them. Sarah and Amber get into a pretty big fight when Sarah and Ryan get engaged — rightfully so, TBH. Though I don’t say anything when my friends get engaged too young or too quickly, I definitely would say something if it was my kid. Unsurprisingly, Sarah doesn’t handle the news that Amber is pregnant very well either. It’s contentious, but bottom line is that all Sarah wants to do is protect Amber (and the less problematic Drew!) from dealing with anything she put herself through when she was younger.

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Stand up for yourself
As I already mentioned, Sarah changes her career path quite a few times which I ALSO admire. It’s so hard to imagine quitting a job (or getting let go, I guess) and changing careers entirely, but Sarah takes it in stride. Sarah is a bartender, a shoe innovator, a playwright, and eventually a photographer. Through it all, she doesn’t let any criticism get her down. When she wins the job with the surfing company over Hank (before they are back together!), she doesn’t let Hank diminish her when he insinuates that she only got the job because of the influential hunk she’s spending time with. Sarah has no problem telling someone to shut up as she continues on with her life. And I love that.

Take risks
Sarah is definitely not a stranger to risk taking. I used to think I was like that, but I have realized that I lost that risk-taking characteristic long ago. My family was always kind of unstable — single-parent home, moved a lot, poor, and not in a funny meme way — and the choices I made when I was younger felt risky. Going to college, moving away from my family (only an hour-ish but still!), not dating, not doing drugs or drinking at a young age was all very safe — but for my family, it felt very much the opposite of the norm. Now, here I sit, 10 years after moving to my lovely town; I’m working a decent job in a career I’m slightly interested in, and I don’t challenge myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s a part of growing up and it’s normal and I’m fine, but there are times when my life feels so stagnant I can’t even take a deep breath at my undecorated desk.

Sarah Braverman doesn’t live a stagnant life. Sarah is strong and a little crazy and she really gets ish done. How does she do that? By taking risks.

Credit: Danny Feld/ Getty Images

Care for your father
I’m just going to continue this trend of airing my personal issues, and say that Zeke and Sarah have the greatest relationship, and it makes me cry and wish I was really close to my father too.

Thank you Sarah Braverman and I love you Lauren Graham.