Robin Jean Marie
Robin Jean Marie

I’m a sucker for an apron.

I can slip on an apron that has a fetching Provincial pattern and imagine myself domestically stylish.

I used to never wear aprons—I thought them too retro and frumpy. Fortunately, now retro is in and aprons are chic. When I had finally ruined favorite shirt number 34 with a wayward splash of olive oil, I decided that it was time to tie one on.

And tie one on I do – every day – usually around 3 o’clock, as I a grab a cup of tea and drive off to the carpool line. I keep it on for the red wine I sip while chopping onions, and I wear it straight through dinner and into cleanup.

It’s typically 10 o’clock before I disrobe.

So, when I ran into my favorite kitchen shop last week to purchase my annual indulgence of harvest-scented hand soap and saw the Thanksgiving apron on display, I didn’t stand a chance.

It was a lovely shade of autumn gold with a curly-stemmed pumpkin tastefully embroidered on the front. It had a handy row of deep pockets and an adjustable strap. Plus, it was 20 percent off.

I tried it on, thinking of what an extra boost of classy confidence this little frock would lend to my turkey and side dish preparations. I thought it would make a fine, if practical, mini-splurge for my upcoming November birthday. Then, something tugged on the apron strings…

Maybe I could get one for my mom, too.

Because this year is different. My parents have spent the last several years in Florida during the Thanksgiving holidays. But in July, my wonderful father succumbed to cancer; this year, my mother is staying in Atlanta. She will be spending Thanksgiving with us.

Whenever my mother comes to my home, she goes immediately to the kitchen and stands at my side to help. Yes, I would get a Thanksgiving apron for my mom, too. Then I felt another tug….

Maybe I could get one for my daughter, as well.

Maybe this apron could be more than a pretty piece of protective fabric. Maybe, when worn by the trio of us, it could signify something else.

Maybe it can be the beginning of a new tradition: three generations of women gathered as a Thanksgiving team. We will embrace each other and work together, and we will celebrate in honor of my dad, in gratitude for his life and his legacy.

This November, my family and my mother will come to the Thanksgiving table for the first time ever without our beloved father, and grandfather, and husband. We will share sorrow and remembrance, and comfort food.

We will begin a new tradition. And, we will be united by an apron.

Robin Jean Marie is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at

Robin Conte

Robin Conte

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see