the apron

When I put it on, I feel kind of like I'm shrugging into a more familiar version of myself. I imagine the same would happen if I slipped into some overalls or mismatched rubber boots. The funny thing is, an apron wasn't ever really a familiar piece of my wardrobe growing up. But, now it symbolizes so much of what I love about my "growing up" place.

I made the apron with my gram and mom this summer. It was on my little list of 'things to accomplish' before coming back to Honduras. I love that my mom is so goal-oriented that she even took my little list under her wing and made sure I crossed everything off before I stepped on the southbound plane.

The vision unfolded as I made the journey home in June and it materialized (literally) in one short day at my gram's. The fabric came from my mom's little hamper (which used to hold a much grander collection, when we needed it for projects and dresses and mending) and I recognized the blue and mauve patterns from our previous living room colors.

The design? Well, that's a funny thing, really. My gram just held up a newspaper to my chest and "eye-balled" it (the funny term we give for trusting our eyes instead of a measuring tape) and then we folded and cut out. Woala! (How in the world do you write that word?) Pattern created. We fumbled around with different ways to spice it up - the collar, a large button, a giant crafty pocket, and ties that came around to knot in the front.

I wore it for the first time at the ministry dinner at my church and have since donned it here to make pizza for students, to wash dishes, make waffles, and yes, even to just feel like I'm doing something productive in the kitchen.

I was even excited to get it dirty. I wanted to wipe my hands on it and use it as a dishtowel and get all kinds of spices and flour and soap on it. I wanted it to be instantly lived in and worn and handled and as familiar with me as I want to be with it.

Maybe I love it so much because I feel like I bring a part of my mom and gram right into my little kitchen with me to snap beans or make soup or cook up strange versions of my favorite meals. Maybe I love it because it makes me feel a little more grown up and established. Maybe I love it because it represents a little bit of who I want to be and I'm taking steps towards that place every time I wear it.

Or maybe it's all of the above.