12/10/07

Aprons for the Girls

My sisters are coming! My sisters are coming!

These words were joyfully on my heart last night as I prepared for a family dinner with my sisters and their families. I listened to Christmas music as I cleaned, organized, set the table, cooked, ironed and got my little “gifts” ready for all of the girls.

What would be a gift that we girls could all share, that would remind of us our Mother, who gave us such a valuable and precious gift – the gift of hospitality? A remembrance of how she taught us to cook, bake, give, share … and enjoy it all in the process?

An apron! Something we girls could pull out at Christmas time and think of each other as we tied it on. Something that would go far deeper than the idea of a gift, but that has “heritage” and the gift of hospitality written all over it.

After I purchased the aprons and was boxing them up (I will admit, I wanted the boxes to look just right), my mind couldn’t help but think of something that my Mom did not teach us to do.

Mom didn’t teach us girls about perfectionism – that things had to look a certain way, that she had to act a certain way, and that she should beat herself up if a dinner didn’t turn out “just right.” No, as Mom tied her apron around her waist, she was gracious and calm and at ease in her kitchen, and with her guests. Even with her home, she was not a perfectionist (although we girls did learn how to clean, sometimes on our hands and knees!). I never remember Mom throwing a tizzy-fit when a meal didn’t turn out, or if she miscalculated the timing of a dish, and we’d all have to wait to eat, or if someone showed up to the house unannounced. And she certainly didn’t apologize for errors (Commandment #7), but graciously moved through the evening with finesse and flair.

As I wore my apron last night, I thought of Mom. I needed to apply her principle of perfectionism to my current circumstances. And that would be - to let the idea of a new, fancy-schmancy, perfect kitchen remodel go (as we all gathered in one of the tiniest rooms in the house)! As we all joined around the turkey dinner (buffet style on my kitchen counter), filling our plates, I found myself frustrated in trying to maneuver around everyone, and even muttered under my breath, “I hate this kitchen!” (and then I turned to see if anyone heard me).

Mom would never have made an issue of it. She would have served and looked for the joy in the moment!

I hung my apron up at the end of the evening, and reflected back on my aspiration for the night. Did we enjoy the spirit of breaking bread together? Did we partake in much laughter as we all shared our answers to Paul’s question for the evening, “What was our most memorable Christmas tradition or memory?” Did we all chuckle when we had to sing our “family prayer” twice, because Josh started us too high the first time? Did we enjoy Abby’s beautiful gift of sharing her violin and Steve’s incredible talent on the piano? Did we enjoy the gift of each other, putting aside any differences?

Did our night have soul and meaning?

Yes! Mission accomplished!!

I know my sisters would agree. Not only did all the girls walk away with a new apron last night, I’m convinced a deeper understanding of the true necessity of how much we really need each other was cultivated a sliver bit deeper into our hearts.

(Photos: The girls and their aprons (yes, a pregnant mommy), including Hoppi, who joined us and cooked a most outrageously moist, yummy turkey; Mom in her Christmas apron; me and my sisters)

Thank you to La Tea Dah, over at Gracious Hospitality, for the generous Christmas crosstitch that she made! You can check out her beautiful site ...

20 comments:

Julie said...

LOVE those aprons, Sandy. Cute as can be. What a treasure to know you EACH have one to enjoy and remind yourselves of one another.

Over Thanksgiving at our son's house up at Ft. Campbell, there were four of us squeezed into a one-man galley kitchen. It was TIGHT but absolutely WONDERFUL. I'd rather have too many people over that none at all!

Jen said...

I love this idea...you are such a great influence on people....I also read on your mother...such a beautiful women.

Sincerely Anna said...

This post really made me smile.
Anna

Mrs. B. said...

Is the pregnant one your niece? She's so cute with her fancy shmancy sparkle shirt and belly. :)
Sisters are a gift from God.

Org Junkie said...

Beautiful aprons, a very nice gift!

ValleyGirl said...

What a great gift and a perfect way to pay tribute to your mom, to honour the legacy she's left for you. I think we could all learn a lesson or two from your mom -- and lucky for us, she's got a daughter who adopted her passion for true hospitality and happens to be great at passing those lessons on to the rest of us!

Jenn said...

What a wonderful memory with your sisters, and a beautiful reflection on your mom. ;-)

GiBee said...

Sandy, those aprons are so adorable! Where did you get them?

You and your sisters are so beautiful! You all look so happy and so much alike!

Anonymous said...

Gosh~ this makes my eyes water just a bit! What a wonderful idea!

Lea
www.theendoftheroad.typepad.com

Elizabeth said...

You are all so beautiful, Sandy! I just loved this post.=

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

You all are just beautiful. I have been thinking a lot about my mom and her kitchen this year and I asked for an apron for Christmas. We'll see what Santa comes up with!

Kirstin said...

I loved the aprons Sandy. My mom passed away four years ago at the young age of 55. I still miss her, and especially at holidays. Her mom and sisters all live on the east coast, but those rare moments we get together are so much fun. You are so blessed to be so close to your sisters.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your site.

Sue @ Praise and Coffee said...

Oh how fun! I wish I had a sister!!

I LOVE the baby bump!

Sue

Nunnie's Attic said...

I have one sister and one brother. And we get along fabulously. I love the bond that we share and it appears you do as well. Sister Love, there's nothing like it.

Love,
Julie

An Ordinary Mom said...

I love, love, love all the apron analogies you made. You inspire me to be a better mother :) !!

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a wonderful new tradition to start! Your family sounds joyous and a wonderful example to model! We are so inspired by your site (and of course, we love anything with sisters!!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Nadine said...

You all are just as beautiful as your mom. I love aprons. I wear one whenever I cook. It's something I got from my mom also.

SAHMmy Says said...

Great article! Found you via Fried Okra--love your site! Your 10 Commandments are fantastic. Gotta work on #4 and wholeheartedly agree with #7--no one but you knows how it was "supposed" to turn out--take compliments with grace and without protest!

red tin heart said...

This was a beautiful post luv. It is so true we spend too much time trying to make it all perfect when all we really need to do is enjoy the moment. xoxo nita

A Woman Who is: said...

Lovely stories about your sisters, mom, aunt and cousin. I am sending prayers her way. This is my first Christmas with out my daddy who passed away this August. I will treasure my "little visits from heaven".