I was thinking about aprons; I wear one most days. Not for cooking and baking like you may think but for painting – for art. I passed by a mirror just now and saw myself in it and I quickly remembered the aprons from my childhood, icons of the 50s housewife. Pockets were filled with small household items picked up along the ways of her day and sorted through before the end of it when it hung on a hook near the kitchen waiting for duty in the morning. – ready to, once again, shield the splatters of her day.
My grandmother, my dad’s mom, had beautiful ones that she made with scrap pieces of fabric and Ric Rac, lace and miscellaneous buttons – they were always there protecting her homemade dress from chicken frying and whirls of all-purpose flour. My mamae, my mom’s mother, wore aprons too. I don’t think she made them but they took her through her days in the kitchen just the same, baking sweet tarts and housekeeping.
My own mother wore an apron on Thanksgiving and Christmas – protecting holiday clothes from cheese sauces and turkey basting. I have a vision of her in her apron, a vision that says “mother”. Sometimes there were clothespins, maybe a bobby pin or two or something you just might need in the pockets of mom’s apron.
I wear one now for painting and occasionally for cooking. When I do, I love that it becomes a little toolbox for me – stashing things I need or things I find in the pockets, wiping wet hands with its skirt and just feeling homey in it. I always wonder why I don’t include it in my day more often. But, like so many household icons – the apron is going away with diaper pins and Singer sewing machines.
Elizabeth wears an apron when she bakes – I love that she does and perhaps there will be an apron resurgence.
I mean aren’t little kids still tied to their mother’s apron strings and don’t big kids still need to cut them?