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    Remember Who You Are 52

    “I just don’t think she’s ready, Tee. I mean why, exactly, does it have to be today?” Bette followed Tina into the kitchen where Tina started packing a lunch for Rosie, her little backpack already sitting on the counter with a change of clothes and her rabbit for naptime.

    Bette was still in her pajamas, a restless night leading to a slow morning, and she was tired. Too tired for this conversation, that was for damn sure. Tina, however, was ready for the day. Or as ready as she thought she could be given how she felt, which was not great. But… she was dressed for work. Makeup on. Just needed her shoes and to finish with Rosie’s things.

    “There is still so much she has had to adjust to with the move…and she is just now doing better, sleeping better… Tee. Listen to me, I feel like you are not listening. Boo is here for when we are working so starting school doesn’t need to happen this quickly. Tee… can you fucking stop packing… please…”

    Tina turned to face her wife, taking a deep breath. Her back hurt like a bitch this morning and a headache was dancing around the backs of her eyeballs, hinting at a stronger appearance later. Uncomfortable, anxious. She thought this decision was done and made, she thought they were both on the same page. She sighed.

    “Bette. Today is the day. The pediatrician says…”

    “I don’t care what Dr. Snow says. This is our child, Tina. We don’t need her permission to keep Rosie home. We are her parents and she’s not ready…”

    “We decided. She’s four, Babe. She could start kindergarten in the fall and this is the first step.”

    The words came out harsher than she intended, and she stopped when she saw the reaction from Bette hearing them, the brunette blinking at the words like they were a physical blow. She tried again, softer, “honey. We talked about this last night. Remember?”

    “We didn’t talk. You talked…” Hands on her hips, not giving in, Bette was what Tina referred to as “dug in”.

    Tina reached for an apple, then a cutting board. She could dig in too and this was a necessary step to school for the little girl. “Bette. When you say Rosie’s isn’t ready… do you really mean that you aren’t ready?”

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    Comments

    1. When I saw you had posted I almost cried. This chapter is such a blessing. And a reminder that no matter what Gen Q season 2 has in store, we are so lucky to have the absolute real deal right here. I simply do not know where to begin. When I first began reading, thoughts of my own child and starting school entered my mind. I was literally thinking out loud – listen to her Tina it’s too early. Bette is right. Rosie needs more time. And I was so relieved that Tina did hear Bette and agreed that it is too soon. I love this couple so much. Your description of Tina staring at Bette speaks volumes regarding her vast capacity to love and understand her beloved: “Tina stared at Bette like she had plucked the moon from the sky with a lasso, moved almost to tears. Bette Porter may be an enigma wrapped in a puzzle at times, but this conversation reminded Tina that at the root of everything, Bette was really quite simple. She protected. She loved. Supported. All with a fierceness that defied logic.” You write a beautiful Tina. It’s quite something that in writing and describing how she sees Bette you are able to so deftly reveal so very much about Tina.

      I think it is wonderful that they were able to talk through the concern about Rosie. Tina is quite naturally nervous about the baby and the changes that will bring. It makes total sense that she feels the need to be organized. Still, Rosie will benefit from more time at the Boo School Of Life. “Tina sighed deeply. “Thank you, Bette. I will check off the box that says Rosie goes to school. She will now be a student at the Boo School of Life which has a vigorous and challenging curriculum involving river life and all matter of magical things. Having graduated from this school, I can attest to the lessons she will learn. And her other, smarter, more grounded mother has a fucking PhD on the subject…” The river is still a presence. It always will be. There is so much Rosie can learn from Boo and from Tina. Boo and Tina will keep her connection to the river alive. It’s who Rosie is and although the river can in fact bring both good and bad, randomly take, it brought Rosie to Bette and Tina and it also brought Boo back to Tina. “You’re right, Beloved. But it also gives. It took her mother from Rosie, Louise from me, from Tom. But it gave us Rosie and… I … have you. And we had that time there together. That amazing, beautiful, together time that I will cherish forever.” This writing is exquisite.

      Time is a constant theme that carefully weaves its way continuously throughout this chapter. Rosie needs more time to adjust. And so does Bette. “This is what she needs, what I need. Tina and I are giving her the gift of time, Bette thought. Something she felt they had the benefit of while they were at the river and something they were giving back to Rosie now.” I love that Bette is able to articulate and communicate her feelings to Tina. This is so intricately written and really so very true. But there is more.

      Tina needs time to prepare for the birth of the baby and deal with her feelings regarding Donna and Louise. She needs time to talk through her feelings. Tina also needs one on one time with Boo and vice versa. I love how you write about the sharing bowl. Taking time to stop and share and listen. “Sometimes Boo would have pancakes for Tina to flip on the stove, her bare feet on the step stool from the bathroom, Boo reaching over her to crack an egg or stir the gravy. Other times they would start with what Honey called “The Sharing Bowl”… a large, earthen piece of pottery that Boo would fill to the brim with berries or little muffins. They would all sit on the couch together under blankets, their toes touching and the rule was that when you reached in for a berry or a muffin, you had to share something that was on your mind, on your heart. And then the other two people would share what they thought about what was said.” This is so very lovely. Perhaps Boo and Tina and Bette and Rosie can continue this tradition.

      There is nothing wrong with slowing things down a bit. Take time to live. Take time to live. Take time to swim after work. Take time to talk to friends, like Shane. Take time to make sweet passionate love. Take time to bake a pie. Take time to buy one perfect rose. Take time to help Rosie count the messages. Boo understands all of this and appreciates that Bette gets it. “Time is a river with banks as someone once said. Your Bette reminded me of that this morning.” Bette adores Boo. And Bette has truly learned a lot from her time on the river. About being quick to listen and slow to talk: “Again, it took Boo a moment to respond, but Bette was used to the slow river way Boo had of approaching the world. It reminded her of Jerry. Yaya once told her that it was best to be quick to listen, slow to talk. And no one did that better than Boo Hager. Bette appreciated having Boo live with them, knowing they were allied in their support and love for one Tina Kennard.” This is a truly loving and magical family. Not perfect but darn near.

      But there is even more. I love how James takes the time to talk to Rosie. She is a special girl and she is so loved. And James makes her feel special. I suspect James will also be broken hearted when Rosie begins school. And yes, Rosie will need everyone to remember where she is from. She has been through so much already in her short time. And we know they all will. My favorite line: “Boo lifted her orange juice in salute, “here’s to time then. Rosie time. Tina and Boo time. Brought to you by one Bette Porter…” BK, this is a beautiful chapter. My heart is full of love for our couple and Rosie and Boo and Shane and family. Thank you thank you thank you.

      P.S. Rosie and the ants. And “you too mouse.” Enough said.

      • Ahhh Billy, this comment warms my heart and made me smile. Thank you so much. The recent trailer and earlier teasers for GQ have sent waves of alternating hope and despair through the Tibette nation. You know I am steadfast in the belief that we will see the reunite. I could be wrong, but for now… all I can do is write them as they are in this story – together, united, a solid couple whose love and respect for each other is paramount. Disagreement over Rosie starting school? They can talk it over, Bette even trying repeatedly until Tina listened – then heard – and balance restored.
        Time is a constant theme, for at the end of the day that is all we have and no one knows how much. Rosie needed a safe home, warm clothes, shoes, puzzles and books. Those were the easy things – time is the harder gift.
        But like you said nothing wrong with slowing down. No one of them wanted to return to the hustle and bustle of LA prior to their trip. Taking time to enjoy each other – and Boo and Shane – comes so naturally now. And remembering who Rosie is and where she came from circles back to the very first chapter when Tina helped Bette remember who she was. That Jodie did not define her.
        I love that you love this story. I love that you take so much time to post such thoughtful and insightful comments. And I love the little line of ants and the toast to Bette as well. More to come, keep reading and keep the TiBette faith. It will happen.
        BK

    2. BK.
      I dont care if this is fan “fiction”, your timing and words bring life to this River Mousecateer!!

      GenQ should be something to look 4ward to, but feels like its covered in the swamp H2O of covid!!

      Auhhh well…was blessed to be able get vaccinated, so it’s all good right??

      Now let me alone so I an finish the 1st read and will comment.

    3. My dear BK,

      Funny how life works…. full of the pressures of time and space and those who surround us. Then something called society puts undue expectations such as school, work, and markers to achieve while living this thing we call life. And as Bette says “At what cost and for what purpose?” We are so busy checking off the boxes and hitting the markers which are only arbitrarily set by ourselves or by our society.

      At first, I thought Bette was just being overly protective of Rosie. But like Tina, I finally heard what she was saying. Rosie simply has not had enough time to get accustomed to her family life and transitioning to a school situation will be more than traumatic. Bette and Tina both know that Rosie will adjust but that does not mean that in the best interest of their family, the time for school is now. The way Bette and Tina are able to communicate this without anger or disappointment or hurt feelings is truly the Bette and Tina I want to see. Their discussion is based upon logic and reason and not emotions as I first feared it would be initially. Bette and Tina have grown up into not only physically mature women but emotionally mature women. The one true desire for both of them is to have a healthy and happy family and if it takes a little time to make that happen, well that is a small price to pay. And Boo sees all of this…. Boo sees that Tina is preparing for the birth of the newest member of the family and Bette is doing all she can to be prepared as well. But Bette is looking to the well being of each individual member’s comfort and happiness. Time for Rosie, space for Boo, comfort and attention for Tina. Its what they need whether they know it or not. And the love in this family is so enormous and so palatable that its hard not to just fall in love with them as well.

      What a wonderful slice of life chapter….. it is very heart warming and comfortable and loving. Thankyou for giving us the readers this gift.

      • These two paragraphs hit at the core of Tibette:

        “Life is messy, Tee. And if I learned anything during our time at the river it was that making life plans is the best way to invite the mess in. Better to follow what your heart tells you, better to lean on each other. And I think Rosie needs more time.”

        Tina stared at Bette like she had plucked the moon from the sky with a lasso, moved almost to tears. Bette Porter may be an enigma wrapped in a puzzle at times, but this conversation reminded Tina that at the root of everything, Bette was really quite simple. She protected. She loved. Supported. All with a fierceness that defied logic.

        Thank you Tina for slowing your roll to realize that Bette. . . . . She protects, She loves, She supports . . . .FIERCELY . . . Defying logic. It’s really that simple

      • Wonderful wonderful comment Martha, thank you! A discussion based on logic and reason and not emotions is exactly how a healthy couple should operate. Such a novel concept right? :) Imagine GQ with a couple that could argue and navigate life on those terms. I love your description of this chapter as a slice of life. That is beautifully put, thank you!

    4. Hi BK,

      What a delight to read this chapter! It certainly takes your mind of from the trailers of that fiasco that’s called GQ! You are so right, on this site you and the other writers can make Tibette however you want them and you my friend do a excellent job with how you write them. So in love, connected in spirit, soul and body. Sure they still are not perfect but they fight for their relationship and have learned to listen and talk to each other.

      It was so recognizable how Tina prepared for her upcoming motherhood, making a list and systematically ticking each one off. Something she seems to have taken over from Bette. Fortunately, she was open to Bette’s feelings about giving Rosie more time and not following her own list. This was an example of how she and Bette learned to really listen to each other.

      And i keep saying it, i am so in love with your Bette. This line i quote from Martha ” Bette is looking to the well being of each individual member’s comfort and happiness. Time for Rosie, space for Boo, comfort and attention for Tina. Its what they need whether they know it or not. And the love in this family is so enormous and so palatable that its hard not to just fall in love with them as well.” That’s our Bette % !
      The way she understood that Tina needed Boo that day, to bond, to relax, to share the day with each other like when Tina was young, the Sharing bowl that they did so that Tina could tell all she held in her mind and heart.

      Bette is so wonderful to her Tina, Rosie, Boo and her friends like Shane. She is always there for them and gets so much love in return. I love how Tina sees Bette and Shane have such a special friendship, that Bette can be herself, open-minded and trust Shane completely and it’s a shame she doesn’t have that openness with Kit because of past events. Bette and Shane both have a difficult past where they have known little love and it is really nice to see how deep their friendship is.

      You did it again BK, taking my mind of a few things that’s happening in this world and my life! Stay safe and healthy my friend!

        • There’s a LOT that Boo could share with a city girl… from LA or my home town too!! Just wondering if there is her very “own Bette” searching for a Boo-Babe!!!

          In general, this story has made me feel like a small town, country girl. . .

          “Getting dirty in tha mud, bug bites, scratched in climbing trees”, carefully gathering rocks, and chasing butter/fireflies, I get: but propelling myself from a rope into a pond or fishing from a dock was way out of my childhood imagination At least it was until this magnificent delight

    5. Thank you for another superb Chapter in this truly wonderful Story.

      I adore this Bette and equally Tina. Just the couple we TiBetters deserve, thank you.

      The other Characters in this story are equally great, I love them all.

      Your talent as a writer is enhanced by a wonderful talent for storytelling

      Please continue to post, to make me laugh and cry and warm my heart..

    6. I loved this chapter. It’s magical to me in so many ways.

      So glad Tina has Boo, she needs her. And it will be good for her to see check in with Eloise. Bette’s initial reaction to Tina saying that is understandable, but it will be good for Tina to work through her feelings now about Donna and Louise.

      How perfect it will be for Boo to live in Shane’s guest house. I love it. And Boo talking about Honey – “Miss her I yearn for her” I have no words

      Those typical Bette things make me laugh – “Bette researched breast pumps and bought a sling for her to wear purchased enough diapers and burp cloths to outfit a small village and even spent hours considering the merits and downfalls of each baby bath bassinette high chair and rocker”

      “And I crushed it in our birthing class last week no one else knew the breathing routine like I did”

      Loved this passage about Rosie – “She was the epitome of childhood of endless summers of popsicles and the ice cream truck coming down the street Of getting dirty in the mud scratched during play bug bites and tree climbing” Took me back to the magical days of my childhood. What an exceptional writer you are, BK.

      I always forever love how you describe Bette & Tina loving each other –

      “And Tina was lost lost in all that was her wife her skin her moan her eyes… forever her eyes”

      “I love you Tee. Madly completely furiously With all that I am”

      “Bette was instantly smitten her eyes taking in the kitchen the cooking the dress and the woman in the middle of it all with a bit of flour on her forehead Especially the woman, hers.

      “Bette was beautiful in her ecstasy her chest dotted beautifully with a pink flush her mouth open… and her hips… the way they seemed to… ripple… to a rhythm that only her fingers and Bette’s body knew… utterly fantastic”

      And my absolute favorite, the dancing to Crazy Love, a particular favorite song of mine.

      In a difficult week for us Tibette lovers (I still believe they will end up together), thank you BK, for another chapter in this amazingly beautiful story.

      • So Westy I agree with Billy and BiBi – your comment hits ALLLL the right spots, thank you for zeroing in on some of my favorite moments too! I went through so many different scenarios – a remodel on the existing home (but with a baby coming, YIKES) or having Boo find a little home in the woods near LA. That just seemed too far. Honestly, she needs Bette and Tina and Rosie as much as they need her! So I thought of how Jenny lived in Shane’s little house and that seemed to work – and with some minor improvements, I can picture this being a safe, cozy, artsy and Boo like retreat for the little children.
        Van Morrison is my absolute favorite – glad you like the song choice. It was either that or Tupelo Honey!…
        And for the record, I think we will get our couple back together in GQ. They are purposely hiding whatever role Tina and Carrie play and it feels all smoke and mirrors to me. Have a great weekend!

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