We share eyes and a body type, though you might not notice right away because I’m always wearing heels and she never is.
We never shared makeup, as she never wears it. The drama of boys and middle school and high school clique power wars were lost on her.
I forged her signature on a tanning salon permission slip before prom because I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t let my fair-skinned, freckled self recline in a sweaty bed of potentially cancer-causing rays.
There were so many days I rolled my eyes at our differences–and now that I have a daughter I know she must have mentally thrown up her hands in frustration at the exact same things I do.
Yet she never told me I was piling too many books into my check-out pile at the library. Instead of telling me to turn out my light and go to sleep, to finish my book in the morning, she bought me a little light that clipped to my headboard so I could lose myself in the comfort of stories and my favorite pillow.
She drove with me to a bridal salon in the middle of a blizzard because I desperately wanted to go to a particular trunk show. I bought my dress that day, without showing any of my fashion-conscious friends. Her eyes filled with tears as I spun in my favorite dress and I trusted her honest opinion more than any influenced by trends.
I see more than my eyes when I look at her now, and it’s not always a flattering mirror.
On good days it makes me laugh that we’re both impatient and seem to have passed the trait down to my own children.
On bad days it’s infuriating. I left her house in heated tears one afternoon, more angry about my perception of her dismissing my opinion than our actual difference of opinion. Later my husband levelly stared across the table and called me out on my identical stubborn nature.
She’ll certainly make me cry again, as it sometimes seems that I inherited all of her tear ducts at birth; I cry at everything and she rarely does.
Still, I wrap my arms around other similarities: our fierce devotion to family, the way we slide into a pile of sugary mush with a baby in our arms, an unwavering belief in the power of ice cream.
I will never be the perfect daughter, but I know her door will always be open to let me try again.
And if not, I still have the key. And the garage door code.