Ba-chan Withdrawals


My mom left yesterday and we are downcast. Depressed, really. It was the longest visit at six weeks, and by the end of it, I couldn’t remember what it was like not having my mom around. As always, she left in her wake three heartily-fed and slightly thicker-waisted folks, a smattering of flower-adorned purses, and several hand-knitted and upcycled sweaters. I’ve shown you the brown cardigan and hot pink top already, and today, I have a purple number she created in what seemed like minutes. And from what I could tell, she unraveled a couple of thrifted sweaters to make this.


K feels the departure most keenly. The two of them giggled and guffawed endlessly throughout the duration of the visit, and my mom spoiled all three of us, but gave K the most magnanimous gift of all: undivided attention. Because I’m always rushing around trying to get this thing or another done, I don’t know that I’m fully there with K, try as I might. It’s one of the things I decided I need to really work on this year: to adopt my mom’s ability to really listen and pay attention.


Of course, it wasn’t always skittles and unicorns, as M likes to say. In the presence of your mother, you are always a child, and with it comes all the attendant childhood discomforts. And it couldn’t have been easy for my mom to share a room with K for so long (we have a very small house). But my mom and I have always been close, and who knows how much longer we can have these visits? I’m grateful for this extended time together, and we had so much fun visiting museums, exploring the city, celebrating multiple holidays and discussing, as we always do, the big and small events of our days. Unfortunately, she caught a cold similar to mine (so awful) at the tail end of the visit, so it was a less than ideal ending, but she rested a lot and left in good spirits.

bachan-and-kLook at them frolicking in the one and only snow day we’ve had in Seattle so far (my mom is doing a little dance in this photo). They are so sweet, those two. We miss you Ba-chan, and hope to see you again very, very soon!


20 thoughts on “Ba-chan Withdrawals

  1. Awww! That is wonderful to have her stay that long. My children (especially my oldest) are very close with my Mom. It is special to have that. Also, your mom is crazy talented!

    1. My mom is out of control! That woman can whip out more things in one day than I can in a whole year! Grandmas are the best!

  2. What a precious time with your Mom! Delightful for you to have her with you so long, but especially precious to K to be able to get to know her grandmother so well. That relationship is so sweet. And your picture of them enjoying the snowfall . . . you must cherish it dearly! Your two most favorite ladies together loving each other AND life!

    1. They really have a great time together. My grandparents all passed away when I was very young, and they lived in Japan so I never got a chance to get to know them, so it’s extra special that K gets to know both sets of grandparents so well 🙂

    1. Yes, very special! Seattle is practically her second home given the number of times she’s visited 🙂

  3. what a great reminder that I am so lucky/fortunate to have my mom and wonderful MIL in town. I should not take it for granted (I know I do!)

  4. what a lovely sweater she made. It screams of love and i bet K snuggles in it and can remember fondly the visit with her grandmother.



    1. Thank you, Mae! K likes the sweater a lot, but her most prized possession is this jersey dress my mom made for her a couple of years ago that she still wears all the time. I should post it – it’s a cool dress!

  5. i can relate to the depression after your mom leaves. you’re mom seems like she is so full of life and i’m glad you were able to spend so much time together. glad it was a nice time and hope the next is just as great!

  6. Awww so nice. And good point about always being a child in the presence of your mum. Its so nice having extra company in the house, and so crappy when that company is gone.

    1. I’m ashamed to admit I almost stamped my foot in frustration more than once like I used to do as a kid. But I got the flip side/benefits of feeling like a kid too – my mom took incredible care of all of us!

    1. Aw, dakko (I’ve always wondered if that translated to “hugs” or “carry me” or maybe both)…So cute!

  7. It’s the grandparents prerogative to be allowed to listen, play and be 100% there for their grandkid. The rest of us have to do our best, keep all our balls in the air, and wait our turn.
    Sounds like you had a great time.

    1. So right, McStitch! When I’m a grandma, I plan on fully spoiling K’s kids. I just hope I don’t become a grandma too soon (oy, these movies these days — I’m starting to get freaked out about teenage-hood!).

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