Why my daughter loved Gilbert Blythe and now we’re both misty-eyed.

Jonathan Crombie, the actor known to fans as Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables mini-series fame, died this month. My daughter, Devin, tweeted, Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.58.42 PM

The New Yorker published Why We Loved Gilbert Blythe by Sarah Larson. In the article, Larson explains,

The “Anne” series let us dream about adolescence while holding on to childhood. The world of Avonlea, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, the apple blossoms and the knickers and caps, dance cards, hay rides, Gilbert’s patient and steadfast heart—was gentler than what we might have imagined about adolescence. It wasn’t “The Breakfast Club,” and that was, on some secret level, very exciting—a last moment of being able to enjoy gentler childhood ideals. “Anne of Green Gables” appealed to those impulses without condescending to us. It wasn’t exactly cool. It had no edge. You didn’t want to race into school and announce that you were obsessed with “Anne of Green Gables.” But, to your bosom friend, you could discuss its many joys to your heart’s content.

When I was an adolescent, I didn’t read literature, a shame. But my daughter did. She read, and read, and read, and read, and because Anne of Green Gables became her friend, Devin introduced Anne to me. I saw Devin in Anne and Anne in Devin. We quoted her,

Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?

Coincidentally, just last week one afternoon my youngest son, J.P., wanted to watch an “educational movie” and dug through old DVDs to find one. He pulled out a non-descript DVD with “Anne of Green Gables” scribbled on it with a Sharpie marker. As the poor quality DVD played, J.P. became enthralled. I explained to him how much his sister had loved this story. Then I sat and watched with him for a bit because I know these days gentle days are too brief.

My eyes filled with tears as I remembered gentler times when Devin was a child,  “Anne with an e” was her kindred spirit, and Gilbert Blythe was patient and steadfast.

Are you a fan of Anne of Green Gables? What literature helped you through adolescence? What books have you read together as a family? What are your favorite movies based on a book?

 Misty-eyed ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

19 thoughts on “Why my daughter loved Gilbert Blythe and now we’re both misty-eyed.

  1. Not sure he helped me through my adolescence, but Edgar Rice Burroughs did a lot to make me an avid reader. The reading was great, but there wasn’t a lot out of Tarzan or John Carter of Mars that I could apply to my everyday life in 7th grade. If only I’d had a monkey . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great way to become an avid reader, and at the perfect age too! Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, King Author, fun read-alouds with my sons. My sons would agree that every young man should have a monkey 😀

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  2. My hair was about the color of Anne’s when I was young. I so related to her feelings when someone called Anne, “Carrots!”. My sister named her two dogs Matthew and Marilla. Emma will love it!

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  3. The vacation we went on when were kids was to Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne. We saw her house. It was really fun.
    Believe it or not Stephen King far and away made a really unpleasant adolescence bearable. No one writes teenagers or children with greater depth, humour, and compassion, than the man from Castle Rock.

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  4. “Oh Anne” *in the voice of Diana* I can immediately go back the first time watching Anne of Green Gables for the first time. I was in my room, eating Thin Mints. I got up to change the channel from Three Is A Crowd…as I was flipping that rickety knob channel by channel, I saw this stern woman Marilla Cuthbert rolling her eyes at what I thought at the time was her husband (Matthew) whom I would later piece together was her brother, I was hooked. I will be honest, it wasn’t Anne or Diana that caught my eye, but Marilla’s no nonsense, get the job done spirit. I of course later, appreciated Anne, Diana and GILBERT! As I engaged in this movie I remember not being so much in love with Gilbert, but hoping I too would have a bosom friend some day. I never cared for how the series continued although I did read the books to follow and watched the movies, I just thought they should have left well enough alone, as the story usually goes with sequels.

    We tend to stick with the Classics here for read a louds; Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, Call of the Wild, Around the World in 80 Days. My Grandfather, would have me read some heavy stuff at a young age (7) Thomas Merton? I had no idea what any of it meant, I do however, have a deep appreciation now as an adult for what he was trying to instill in me, and it has allowed me to create a love of reading in my children…WINNER and thanks Grandpa!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with me, momma! I can picture at least *3* blog posts for your new blog coming from this post alone! Thomas Merton at 7? That explains some things 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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