My mom and I are different in many ways.
Many of those ways are small. She wears make-up, I wear sunscreen. She curls and sprays her hair... every day, I brush mine... most days. She dons coordinating outfits, I try to remember to wear solids with a print. Her coffee table is covered with lacy doilies under pretty things covered with glass couches, mine is covered with stacks of sometimes overdue library books.
These little things have nothing to do with our 30 year age difference; she has always been the way she is, even with three little people underfoot.
We differ on religion, politics, and some other biggies too.
But for all of our differences we share some very important things in common.
Along with loving your family, treating others with kindness, holding your tongue if you don't have anything nice to say, and other aspects of common human decency, we also share the love of making.
When I was growing up she was always crafting in some way or another. I can't even begin to count the hours spent at her side while she glued, painted, or arranged. Or record the many craft fairs we attended together both as sellers and shoppers.
This is a language we can speak together.
As you may have guessed already, we create in very different styles and have extremity different tastes. She favors lace, intricate beading, and steampunk. I am drawn to linen, clean lines, and practicality.
But we support each other in our creating and always have an encouraging word when sharing our newest creations or designs. I know my style is not her style. I know she would add a row of ruffly lace or a cluster of shiny beads to most of my creations if she were making the same pattern. But she is always respectful of my aesthetic. She is constructive and helpful when I need guidance, without pushing her personal style into the design. This means the world to me.
It also means the world to see her creating with the kids when she comes to visit. They share their creations over Skype at least once a week, so it is thrilling to watch them side-by-side at the table brainstorming ideas, making lists of supplies, problem solving, creating together. Just as when I was young, she is helping to foster the idea that you can make what you want, and make it just the way you want.... even if your ideas don't work out the first time, even if you have to ask for help, even if your hands can't quite do what you want them to do. You do your best, work together, and most importantly keep creating!
So for all of our differences, and there are many, there is common ground and we tread there every chance we get!