When my aunt moved to an apartment from the home she had lived in for over 50 years, my sister acquired some items in that downsizing. One was a bunch of aprons that my grandmother made and wore when she was cooking or cleaning house. (My grandmother lived with my aunt and her family.) Grandma called these aprons her “shmatas.” My sister shared some of those aprons with me.
Since JB and I cook dinner together pretty much as soon as I get home from work, I thought I might put on some of my grandmother’s aprons to protect my work clothes from splatters and stains.
I remember my grandmother as an ample woman, a big woman with a large chest. When I tried on the first apron of hers I grabbed, I could barely zip it up. I. Could. Barely. Zip. It. Up.
The realization that I am larger than the picture I have of my grandmother has me a bit shaken but has humbled me too. Who knew that such a simple “shmata” would make me feel as if I were measuring up to the largesse of my grandmother. Who knew that such a simple “shmata” could define the dimensions of proportion and magnitude and generosity.