I’m in my 31st week of pregnancy and realizing that it’s just a matter of time before my life’s changed forever. Not only is little Riley going to be out in the world, being molded and shaped with every experience and exposure and thereby altering my very outlook on life as I know it, but other life changes will follow in the weeks immediately after. He and I will be headed on a plane to the Philippines, aka The Land That My Parents Left In Order to Raise Their Kids In The Land of Opportunity, and I’ll be doing things that I’ve been putting off since I danced on a table for the first time at the ripe old age of 13: getting in touch with my Filipino-ness [I have no idea why the country’s spelled with a “Ph” and the nationality’s spelled with an “F”]; earning a degree that’ll ensure me a well-paying salary and respectable title [Bachelor’s of Science in nursing, and becoming a registered nurse]; and leaving my parents to fend for themselves [while simultaneously supporting me financially]. Riley will be a little over 2 months old when we board that plane, I’ll have just gotten acquainted with him and my new role, and New York will become The Place I’ve Escaped In Order to Gain Better Opportunities. Irony of ironies.
It’s all so much to take in, and as I’m rendered immobile by my growing belly and overwhelming exhaustion and watching things break down and build up ad nauseum, I’m also realizing that there’s a lot about my old life that will inevitably be left behind. I think about the lot of sins I’ve committed, the antics that have ensued from a grain of curiosity or a need to be outrageous, and I wonder how much of it is really in the past. I feel so boring now, so ordinary and plain. And yet, I also feel stable and confident and strong. I spoke to my friend, Yves, and I could almost see him from across the telephone line, shaking his head at my worry. “It’s a good thing that you’re becoming what you call ‘boring'”, he laughed. “Moms that aren’t ‘boring’ are often bad moms.” I don’t know how much faith I have in his words, how much stock I take in them. I just know that already, when I look into a mirror, I don’t see sex incarnate anymore. The Mistress is gone; now, it’s all Mom.