How many weeks does it take for your feet to come back?

16 weeks with Tula's mangled love-bear

16 weeks with Tula’s mangled love-bear

17 weeks with the T-bear herself. Rockin the belly band that day and I reek of cocoa butter (still)

17 weeks with the T-bear herself. Rockin the belly band that day and I reek of cocoa butter (still)

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE! is a natural song to have stuck in my head.

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE! is a natural song to have stuck in my head.

Pat felt the baby for the first time last night. The past week, the kicks have been getting stronger. I’ve been feeling them more frequently. Over the weekend, we lay in bed and I put his fingers on my belly to see if he could feel it. No dice. But last night Baby O was punching away and Pat could feel the little pops, faint, I’m sure for him, but every time he said he felt something, sure enough, the baby had just kicked.

My cousin, Jennifer, had her baby last night. A boy 7 lbs. 4 oz. Nixon Bailey Kruger. He’s a beautiful little boy, looks kind of like my brother in the photo she sent me. Nixon cradled into her bare chest. Jennifer is like an older sister to me. She moved into my dad’s house when she was 7. My dad raised her. My dad is her dad. As I grew older, I realized that perhaps she needed my dad more than I did. She had no one to take care of her, her dad was out of the picture, her mom (my aunt) was an addict and ended up dying when I was 12, Jennifer 15 or so. My dad was a good dad to her and a not so good dad to me, but those are just some of the roles you grow into as a kid.
About 6 years ago, I went to Napa for my dad’s wedding party. I hadn’t been back in years. I was still in a hard place with him. But I stayed in Jennifer’s guest bedroom. She bought me small monogramed hand towels with the letter ‘R,’ she bought me meals, I bonded with her long-haired Chihuahua coaco-bean, we went through old photos of us as children that I had never seen before. We talked like sisters could talk about a father. It dawned on me during that trip, that I wasn’t alone as a daughter to this man, someone else knew his walls, his humor, his shortcomings. I thought it was something inherent about me, about my parent’s divorce that caused him to distance himself, and I’m sure some of that creeped in, but that trip made me realize it was something in him, not me, something in his hardened past – wars, addiction, death, verbal abuse. I began to see him as a human being teeming with regrets and mistakes and not just a father who never lived up to my expectations. He wasn’t capable. He wasn’t on my emotional level. Jennifer gave me an ally. From that point, she has and will remain a sister to me. And yesterday she gave birth to her beautiful boy. I have no doubt she will raise him into a kind man. She has mad a beautiful life.

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