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    Remember Who You Are 48

    They woke, as they usually did these days to the need for Tina to go to the bathroom. It took her a little longer to untangle herself, the blankets getting wrapped around her legs as she rose. She felt massive and sluggish but in truth her pregnancy was progressing nicely and her baby bump small compared to how it would be in four months time.

    Yaya told her that her small frame meant that every pound she gained would be felt like it was two pounds and to eat healthy, exercise and everything else would fall into place. With Bette encouraging her and being very demonstrative in her appreciation of Tina’s growing body, she really no complaints in that area.

    Plus, at sixteen weeks, even though she was showing enough to need pregnancy clothes, she could still manage in her movements easily. Bette was awake when she returned to the bed and had gone to the kitchen for coffee, Rosie and Yaya having an early breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries. Yaya shooed her back to Tina once Bette had lavished love all over Rosie’s sticky face, making her giggle and say her newest phrase which made Bette want to cry and do a somersault simultaneously.

    “Ohhh Mama Beee” Rosie would say, stretching out the B to Beeee with a southern tang that never failed to make Bette smile. Where Rosie picked up these quirks of expression Bette was not sure but there seemed to be a new one every week or so. Yaya said it was her personality coming out now that she felt safe and it was hard to argue with that.

    They sat in bed sipping their coffee, Tina resting her head on Bette’s shoulder every now and then as they planned their day, their feet playing with each other under the covers. Kit and Lucy were arriving in the late afternoon and Boo asked them to come by for lunch before they left for the airport. James would arrive in time to meet them at the courthouse for the adoption hearing. Everything coming together, one piece at a time.

    “It’s all going at warp speed,” Bette complained. “At first I chaffed with the slow pace here, now I want everything to stop for just a fucking minute so I can catch my breath.”

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    1. “Who wants pie?”

      Although I believe it would probably be best just to let this chapter sink in for a while, I know if I do that I will never post. And I so want to post. It’s just that this chapter is so incredibly…large. This line probably best sums up my initial reaction: “I want all my special people in one place, you know?” And they are! Bette, Rosie, Boo, Yaya, Kit, Shane, Alice, and baby Kennard. Once again, this is Tina’s time to shine. And she does. That she had to answer for Donna is not surprising but still sad. I think it’s safe to say Tina put Donna in the trash heap once and for all. It was fascinating that the judge was so interested in her take on adopting Rosie and the notion of taking the little girl away from the river. I’m sure it was not easy for Turn up to let Rosie go or to speak but really guy, well done! One has to assume the judge had his mind already made up but he still needed to size up this Kennard and hear the words from Tina herself. This was totally her show. She knew the plays. They had planned and prepared for this day. She was up to the task big time. Tina is my hero.

      Now, Bette. Despite the accident, the river has been so good for Bette. She wants to bring its ‘slow flow’ back to LA. The river and this river borne Tina have helped her realize both a soft, quiet, gentleness and a complete, protective ferocity of spirit in equal measures. We should all know the kind of pure yet intense love she feels and carries and demonstrates for Tina. As I say, this chapter is large: “There is a freeness to living on the river, right Tee? A slow flow to life… if that makes sense. I know we belong in LA but I will need time to adjust. So will Rosie.” How cool is it that Bette is worried about Rosie going to school? Art gallery owner and neurotic extraordinaire Bette Porter laments that four hours is a long time. And Tina promises to help Bette through the transition? So much love in this family. In large part because: “It’s Gotcha Rabbit Day…” she squealed happily, laughing when Tina did, happy that Rosie remembered the funny name.” And now they have Rosie and Rosie has them and Boo will join them to help keep the river alive. And Bette will want to keep the river alive. And they all have each other. Once again… large, BK. Anyone else think Boo’s house will not be sold?

      My favorite passage? Hard to pick. But I must admit that the only thing I love more than this Bette is this Bette and Tina united in their love. And perhaps when Tina is being her friend, lover, and champion. And nowhere did Tina champion this Bette, her Bette, more than in understanding and respecting Bette’s memories of the horrible accident: “Bette?” Tina said, her mouth close to Bette’s ear, her voice barely above a soft whisper. “When our friends and family ask about the boat accident, you should tell them. Tell them how scared you were, tell them how close we came. Tell them the miracle you pulled off and the way you held me up for hours, waiting for help. Tell them how amazing and special you are. Let them walk through life with you, they love you, they deserve to know how special you are. Tell them.” These are tough memories for Bette. Maybe she can do that. Maybe not. Regardless – Tina’s support and her words just takes your breath away.

      That being said, Yaya putting Alice in her place gets an honorable mention: “Yaya spoke again, her eyes pinning Alice to the chair. “Tina had a grade three concussion, multiple abrasions and a possible injury to the baby. The question you should be asking as her friend, in my opinion, is how you can support them now. They are still healing. Who wants pie?”Silence followed her statement as Alice swallowed her next comment, put in her place. Shane raised her hand, “I’d love some pie…” How many readers raised their hands in the air with a collective YES!!! I’d love pie, too.

      Love than Shane and Jerry have become fast friends. One has to believe their paths may cross again. Perhaps it is because Shane may be the only woman Jerry has no chance to bed, but it is not surprising that Jerry would be taken with Shane. And of course there is zero threat of ending up in court.

      Lastly, the symbolism of the caterpillar. Boo creating a safe haven and teaching Rosie what the caterpillar needs to become a butterfly is so reflective of how much love and wisdom this woman gave Tina and can now share with Rosie. That Rosie is like a little Tina – no wonder Bette is a total goner. And with Auntie Kit already calling her Little Boo…I suspect they will all learn to slow the flow.

      BK – so worth the wait. So very beautiful. Now it’s on to the wedding. Thank you.

      • Wonderful, Billy! And here! Me! I don’t think Boo’s house will even be at the market because T + B will make sure to keep it to have a place to come back to at the river from time to time.

      • Who wants pie indeed? Cheers to Yaya for putting Alice in her place (more of that to come…) and to the offer of pie, the best way to end a statement.

        This chapter is large. That is a great descriptor, Billy. Honestly, I debated posting only half of it – ending it as the river folk came into the courtroom to hear the case as a mini cliff hanger… but I just CAN NOT. Mainly because I am a big believer in the flow of the story and so much leading to the court date builds the tension – Tina’s clothing meltdown, Bette’s anxiety, the growing relationship with Rosie and even Tina’s stand in the prison to get the paternity test from a previous chapter. So here we are. A large chapter which you, dear Billy and all the other readers, soak up just like I do when I write it.
        The river has changed Bette in ways she is just now learning. And Tina is her champion (great word, Billy) and her world.
        Thank you my friend for seeing the flow of this story, for diving in to pick out your favorite passages and for loving this story as much as I do. I am grateful for you comments, they motivate me to keep going.
        And I will join you for pie anytime!

    2. I would like to add how quickly Rosie adopts Kit as her Aunt and someone she can trust. She sees how much Bette loves her and so she’ s one of the good people in her book. Rosie is a very preceptive child. The closer Bette and Tina are to someone, the Rosie will be just as close to. Kit and Boo….

      My bets are that when Tina and Bette get back to LA, they will start to look for a new home. I don’t think that Tina or Bette will be happy with Boo living any where else except with them. They are going to want this new baby and Rosie to enjoy as much time with Boo as possible. They are going to want Rosie and the new baby to have their own space and they will want to be settled before the baby arrives. So what’s one more bedroom for Boo?

      Life is going to be so full for this family…. Boo will be so glad she made this move to Los Angeles. It may not be the river, but her life will be so filled with the love of her family that she will know that this was the thing to do.

      Thanks for the lovely chapter….

    3. I am just a heap of emotion having laughed and cried my way through 29 glorious pages and then Billy and Martha’s Comments!

      I cannot choose a favourite part although I loved Alice being put in her place and I’ll have Pie anytime by the River.

      Thank you for the Post looking forward to the Wedding.

    4. I knew Shane and Alice would come along … and of course Alice as usual behaved like a callous and juvenile person.

      It’s nice to be surrounded by the people you love but the transition to LA will undoubtedly be difficult for Boo and Rosie, especially since Bette and Tina are working. Can’t wait to read all about it, but first the wedding and maybe unexpected surprises from the river rats …

      Love your story !

      • That’s why they need to at a minimum move out of WeHo. Not all of LA is so glitzy. They will no longer be headed to the clubs. They have two children to consider. And by bringing Boo to LA they have an obligation to her as well. Alice will call them boring but they will make that shift to Bette’s slow flow. BK will find a way. I always forget the story that preceded them going to the river. Bette is so ready for a different life. And Tina will have her grandmother and her wife and her daughter and a new baby. The WeHo house is the one that will be sold! Right?

    5. BK, you are so great in telling this story!

      What an absolute joy to read this story!

      Billy and Martha have already mentioned everything I had in mind, they are both great at articulating what I had in mind.

      I am so proud of Tina how she stood tall en strong before the judge, well done Tina! They are officialy a family now! You can see that they all love Rosie so much and i absolutely love how Rosie always follow Bette with her eyes, never let her out her sight, how they have a ritual already, it melts my heart ♥️

      I quote Billy:

      “That being said, Yaya putting Alice in her place gets an honorable mention: “Yaya spoke again, her eyes pinning Alice to the chair. “Tina had a grade three concussion, multiple abrasions and a possible injury to the baby. The question you should be asking as her friend, in my opinion, is how you can support them now. They are still healing. Who wants pie?”Silence followed her statement as Alice swallowed her next comment, put in her place. Shane raised her hand, “I’d love some pie…” How many readers raised their hands in the air with a collective YES!!! I’d love pie, too.”

      I raise my hand , i love pie!

      Alice, will she ever learn to keep her mouth shut?! I am glad Yaya put her in her place!

      Wonderful chapter BK, look forward to the wedding!

    6. Well with everyone mentioning Pie I had to jump in here.

      BK!..I may have been absent for awhile but I have been a silent reader and fan of your stories and this one is exceptional. It’s a delight to read and I can’t stress how wonderful your storytelling is!…And I can’t add anymore to what the comments have said above!

      Keep on doing what you do!


    7. Straight to the heart, BK! Looooove it. Like SassyGran I laughed and cried while reading. Welcome to the family, Rose Porter-Kennard.

      The events at court had me at the edge of my seat. When the Judge mentioned Donna I was sure that some of his family members suffered through Donna and he would give Tina a hard time.

      Tina’s statement was outstanding. When I think about who has the closer bond with Rosie I’d say Bette. Therefore I expected Bette to make a statement on behalf of both women to emphasize how strong their will to adopt Rosie is, how well they will provide for her and so on. But Tina stating that nothing else mattered but the fact that they fell in love with the girl was so heartfelt and wonderful. Add to that Turnup’s words “She will make a fine mother to Rosie on account of her heart.”. What else could be the Judge’s decision than to say yes to the adoption?

      Many beautiful moments of this chapter were already highlighted by my fellow readers. I have to add my favourite Rosie + Bette scene. The morning when Bette was up early, preparing coffee in the kitchen and Rosie walked in, not quite awake yet. Their cuddling reminded me so much of Tina and Bette’s morning ritual of cuddling in the big chair in their bedroom. I’m not sure it’s in this story, more likely it’s a thing they have in “The Beginning”. Anyway this is such a sweet moment of bonding and family love and it feels like Rosie is still soaking up every bit of love she feels from B + T.

      Like Billy I could go on and on. Bette’s stern talk to Boo, Yaya and Alice, Rosie and Kit, Tina and Bette on Rosie and kindergarten.
      With all those great comments it feels once again like we are in a chatroom and talk about every detail of the chapter like we’re having a book review. Such fun!

      BK, thank you for another amazing look at Tina and Bette at the river. Your stories are and have been some kind of oasis of calm for me throughout this crazy year with so many sad news every week.
      Can’t wait for the wedding! But unfortunately I didn’t get an invitation … yet ;)

      Have a great day, only two days of 2020 to go. Stay safe and sound.

      • Straight to the heart KP! I debated how much the Judge should push the Donna connection. I think you summed it up the best – he wanted to hear it from Tina. Why Rosie? Why now? Why you? When he listening to Jerry and signing a document – his decision was already made. Tina was the lynchpin, the deciding factor and you and Billy are right – she nailed it.
        You are sweet to connect the morning cuddle to the big chair cuddle from The Beginning, so true! And I am so glad Bette is slowing down and appreciating those moments. She could just as easily rushed Rosie through breakfast to get ready for the day in court. But she took the moment and leaned into it.

        You are SO right about this feeling like a chatroom for a book club. I will add that these comments are just as magical as the river itself. I ADORE them. It is just as good as writing and reading the chapter in my opinion and I bow my hat to all of you. Amazing readers.
        It has been an oasis to write these as much for you to read my friend. Peace to you and stay safe. 2021 is coming, good or bad… we can start a new chapter .

    8. Oh BK!
      My little Tibette heart just can’t take it! Talk about blowing us away with this chapter. Dangggg! It was so perfect. In every way. The tenderness that you portray is just so beautiful. I love the way they take care of each other in the most subtle ways. And then how they both shine during the big moments. Ugghhh, you’re the best!
      And what a truly amazing way to start the new year. With a Tibette wedding on the horizon!!!!!!
      I’m so so excited…I can’t wait. I just know that you’re going to give us something incredibly special. Thank you so much for this story.


    9. Hey BK,
      Don’t know what happened to my last comment, it seems to have disappeared into the ether, but I just want to say how you slayed me with this chapter. My heart just can’t take it. The tenderness, the subtle ways they take care of each other, the ways that they both shine in the big moments. It was so so beautiful. You just blow me away.
      Can’t wait to ring in the new year with a Tibette wedding!!!!
      I know you are going to make it so incredibly special.


      • Riskaaay – thank you so much. Love your comment and your use of the word “slay” which reminds me of my daughter and made me smile. Looking forward to your next chapter and glad to see you back posting and commenting. Happy New Year!

    10. Dear BK,
      After years of reading stories on this site, this is my first time ever responding to one.
      The river story has become such a tremendous comfort to me. Whenever I find myself lying awake at night feeling broken, alone and hollow I wish for two things, to for once in my life to feel safe and loved.
      When I read the story about a young Tina being nurtured by Boo and Honey I bookmarked it and labelled the bookmark “safe”. I forgot I had already bookmarked it, and saved it again after revisiting that chapter but this time labelled it “loved”.
      When I read the chapter when they go to collect Boo and Bette reminds Rosie that she is two things, safe and loved, it really hit me in a way I can’t describe.
      The way you have written this family, to be so warm, caring and loving, has been such a source of comfort for me, and it has become my escape from reality. After years of reading stories on this site, I never found myself desperately refreshing, hoping for a new chapter until now.
      The feeling I get, I can’t describe. It’s like it makes my heart feel full and warm, but at the same time, my chest feels empty and physically aches, hyperaware that it is fiction.
      There aren’t many stories in the mainstream media of loving lesbian families (The Fosters is the only one I can come up with), so I want to thank you for this story, and letting me indulge in the fantasy of unconditional, true love.

      • SelinaKyle, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This comment touched my heart, I am so glad you decided to write it. I think we all want to feel safe and loved at the end of the day. Especially now.
        Writing this story and the others has been a source of distraction and comfort for me as well, something to retreat to where I can control the storyline, write about a place where everyone is accepted and loved. I am humbled that you were drawn to it as well. There is more to come, a day of shopping and a bug wedding and a trip back to LA. Glad you are on the journey with us. And thank you!

      • I just read your comment again. I agree with Billy, it is so very touching and I am at a loss for words. It means the world to me. Comments like all of these on this story make me want to do the best story I can. Happy New Year!

    11. Your post was so very touching. I had never posted until COVID hit. I have been in a 30 year relationship and desperately searching for some of those same qualities in a story. BK has certainly touched a lot of hearts. This story ranks up there with classic American Literature. I printed off the river chapters and have them with Too Kill A Mockingbird. It’s just that good. And I took hope that it never ends. Happy New Year!!

    12. BK,

      Mostly everything that I wanted to comment on, has already been eloquently said.
      I agreed with SelinaK that I don’t want this wonderful story to end!!!!

      Bk – it was so touching, so emotional, so hopeful. Who won’t fall in love with this couple, this family. Rosie is now so blessed and will have a wonderful life. Oh, did I say a Wonderful Life??!!!!

      Your Tina and Bette are just fantastic & I just want to hold onto them forever!!!!

      Thanks for continuing your enchanting story & giving us this darling tail.

      Thanks ever so much.

      Love it!!!!!


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