Last Christmas my mother gave me an apron she had made. It was feminine, frilly, and embodied the carefree days of summer. Bright greens and pinks, with cherries, watermelons, and lemons, it was just what I needed for my drab kitchen…especially in the grey days of winter. It embodies everything I love about the kitchen—a feminine woman making good food for her family and delighting in her God-given place.
When I was little, my mom had a drawer full of aprons. When helping her bake cookies or other treats, we got to select one out of there. But there was one that was always Mom’s. It was a white, lacy piece that was long—perfect for my tall mother. She always wore it while she cooked and baked, whipping up something delightful for us to eat.
Many are the hours my mom has spent in her kitchen. Us girls rarely ever helped with meals, simply because my mom was so good at it. When she was bending over her stove, wearing that white apron, she was in her glory. We would watch her with wide, wondering eyes, hoping to someday be the cook in our kitchen like she was in hers.
And as she worked, she’d tell us stories about the women who came before. She’d talk about what my grandma used to make, and my great-grandma’s famous “Polish Balls”. She’d tell us about the persimmon tree in my great-grandma’s backyard, and all of the persimmon recipes she subsequently collected. Every fall she’d get out her grandma’s apple pie recipe, the crust of which always won the prize. At Thanksgiving she’d make a huge feast, probably with the same dishes my grandma used to make. At Christmastime we’d make the “Polish Balls”, and send a batch off to everyone who loved my great-grandma’s delicacies. And always she was wearing that apron.
One time I tried it on, just for fun. But, somehow, it just didn’t seem to fit. It wasn’t mine, it was Mom’s. It reminded me that my grandma and my great-grandma probably had their own aprons that were distinctly theirs.
And here I am, a married woman, with a kitchen of my own. And an apron of my own.
What will this apron become to the children I will bear? I pray it becomes a symbol of “mama”, just like the white apron was a symbol of my mom. A symbol whose floured sides and worn straps are full of love and care. Full of the stories of the women before. Full of good food, a pretty woman, and family.
This post was written as part of Apron Week over at The Little Pink House. Head over there to check it out!