Yesterday as I was waving goodbye to our son, off to classes as a full time student again, I realized I was wearing one of the new aprons my children had given me for Christmas. I have taken to wearing aprons much of the time, realizing that I am a messy person and very likely to spill something either when I am eating or cooking or cleaning up. However, the only apron I had was one my parents had given me years ago. It was also a Christmas present, but they had used it to wrap up the lamp they were giving me. It didn't go with many of my clothes, but it was serviceable and reduced the laundry load.
My daughters, who spend a good deal of time on the Natural Family Planning message board, discovered a woman who makes aprons in the color and style you request, and I now have two new aprons in different prints of blue; I think one is a Regency style. They go with almost everything I wear and they are quite classy.
As I stood there waving and thinking how nice the apron looked, I also reflected on it as a badge of my occupation for most of the last thirty-eight years. While I often listed my occupation as writer, the majority of my time was spent as a homemaker, raising six children and trying to subdue the chaos that threatened to overwhelm the house whenever I turned my back.
I can remember driving home from a school run one day and thinking that my mother had done the same thing for us when we were growing up, and a sudden eruption of happiness poured through my being as I realized that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, even though I often kicked against the goad about the details. (Why did the kindergarden teacher send home a note saying we needed 6 rolls of clear contact paper the next day?) Once when my beloved husband and I were talking about our childhood goals, he said that as a child he saw his father working, married and raising a family, and he told me with a smile, "That's all I ever wanted." I used that as the last line in my novel (now being considered by a publisher in England). As I'm beginning a home business I will undoubtedly use my aprons more than ever; may they remind me of the contentment I can experience as I follow the vocation that rolls out before me.