"Apron Strings"

This is kind of a sappy piece, but when it comes to my mom, I’m just a big softy. My mom has gone beyond what she could to make me the man that I am. So, I wrote “Apron Strings” when I had a revelation about what I mean to her. It may be no big deal to some, but others will hopefully “get it”. Its a little long, but oh well…..

Its kinda funny how you start to look at things differently as you get older, especially when it comes to understanding the people in your life. Something happened to me recently that really got me thinking about my mother- and what she means to me.

When I was growing up, my mom would always wear this brown and white apron. I never knew where it came from, but anytime that she was cooking Saturday morning breakfast, Sunday afternoon lunch, or just baking a cake for one of her childrens’ birthdays, my mom was wearing this apron. It was nice. It had trimmmed edges, ample pockets, and big, strong strings to be tied. This was my mother’s apron.

But one year, when I was in the 7th grade, I was enrolled in a home-economics class. It became my assignment in this class to make an apron, with my new-found knowledge of sewing. And so, I made an apron-as well as a 13 year old boy could. It was awful. The fabric was a hideous green, with gawdy patches scattered throughout. The hems were loose and crooked, as were the seams. The fabric was thin, and the strings were even thinner. The pockets were small and badly positioned. But, this was my apron. And when I showed it to my mother, she smiled proudly, and put it in the drawer next to her pretty brown one.

Time has passed, and I’ve been away from home for several years. Now and again, I try to make it back home to be with my family for holidays and birthdays. It’s on these trips, that there was something that I had begun to notice. My mom was always wearing my apron. I hadn’t really even realized it on previous trips, but, this one time I was there I commented on my memory of making it, and she smiled back-again proudly.

I told here that I should take it back home with me because I now cooked for myself and friends, and was in need of an apron. So, as my visit came to an end, there it was, neatly folded with the rest of my things. My apron was now headed back with me. I’ve wore it once or twice, but it mostly stays in the linen drawer, with the dishrags and potholders. But this is definitely not where the story ends. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a point when you see people differently, and I have narrowed it down to a single point with my mother.

The last time that I was there, my mom had gathered my brother and his family, along with my sister and hers, to have a Sunday lunch. Like most families, we crowded in the kitchen to talk and help out. But, this is when it all hit me- my mother wasn’t wearing my apron! It was, of course, still folded in a drawer back home. Seeing her in a different apron seemed strangely wrong. My mind began to put it together.

She hadn’t began wearing my apron all those years ago, simply because it was at the top of the drawer. It was at the top of the drawer because she was wearing it; because it was mine. Whether intentionally, or sub-consciously, my mom was wearing her son’s apron. She was proud of it, proud of me, and wearing it made her feel close to me, especially now that I’d moved away. She had to think of me everytime that she put it on, and that made me smile. So, while I visited, she would wear it, hoping that I would feel maybe, just a little closer to her.

But now, another thought entered my head. I really didn’t like the thought of her NOT wearing my apron. My need for an apron, just got hugely outweighed by my desire to see my mother wear mine. If only for the few times a year that I got to see her- the apron would be going back.

This may seem silly to some, and overly sentimental to others, but I think it’s a powerful thing when you can find a whole new way to appreciate someone- especially when its my mother.

Completed 9/8/03 Revised 9/28/03

"Apron Strings"

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  • vonnie1989
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