Wednesday, April 1, 2009
My mother, who lives in Japan, and I talk on the phone all the time. Once or twice a year, she ask me to make an apron for her. As far back as I can remember, she was always wearing an apron. I mean ALL THE TIME. That is part of her uniform. She cleans, cooks, and even goes grocery shopping in her apron, if the store is in the neighborhood. I made her first apron when I was in junior high as a gift and she loved it. Since than I became her personal apron maker.
I got married and moved away; so far away, but that doesn't change the fact that I am still her apron maker. Traditionally, as the oldest daugher of three girls, I was supposed to get married to someone who would take my last name and take care of my parents. My parents are not traditional people and I don't even know that many of the Japanese people are anymore. I felt a little guilty after I got married to an American and moved so so far away. Every now and than I still do. I swear, Japanese stores sell tons and tons of aprons. My sister even suggested to my mom that she should just buy one, so it doesn't take up my time.
Maybe, that is why I love making the aprons for her, so I can relieve some of the guilt by doing something for my mom. Maybe, that is her way of keeping a piece of me close to her everyday.
A couple weeks ago, in our usual conversation, she said, "Hey Sachiko, I need new apron, can you make me one soon?"
I said, "Sure, do you have preferance in style and colors? Do you want solid or patterned? (My mom is very simple when it comes to fashion. She likes jeans and T-shirt and always wears black, navy or gray.)
"Ah, you can try something new. I don't mind some patterns."
(Wow! I was a bit surprised)
"Do you want me to make two? So you can wear one while the other is in wash?"
She replied, "No, I know you are busy, just one is will do."
That was our conversation. So, I made one and called her a couple days ago to let her know that I am sending the apron along with my sister's birthday present. Then she said, "So how many did you make?"
I replied, "Ah...one." (?! she said one is enough)
She came back, "What? I need another one while the other is in wash!"
Then I remembered that my mom is famous (between my sisters and I) for having a short term memory about stuff like this. Oh, mom...
I said, "I asked you that before."
"Did you? I don't remember. Hey I have a guest, so I need to go but I am looking forward to seeing the aprons. Bye!"
I think some things are sentimental and beautiful because they are so far away. I miss her and I so much want to do something to make her happy. Would I feel the same way if I lived next door to her? I am in the process of making the second one as she requested hoping that these will make her day. As long as she asks I will always make an apron for her, that is one of the ways I say "Thank you and I love you mom."