What happens when a big city dominatrix decides she wants to settle down and start a family?

Apparently, she moves to a third-world country. At least, that’s what I did.

Yes, ladies and gents, I’ve made the move to the Philippines. I’ve been here since this past Saturday, the 17th, and Riley and I are getting adjusted. I normally don’t suffer from jetlag, but this time, the 21-hour flight (including a 4-hour layover in Seoul) and 12-hour time difference are kicking my ass. Maybe it’s because the second time I tried to nap, a 4-year old stole my 10-week old infant’s pacifier, but I was too paranoid to sleep. I had the sneaking suspicion that if I shut my eyes again, my baby might be gone altogether, and not just sitting smugly between some stranger’s lips.

We’re living in my parents’ house with my 20-year old brother. The house is nice. It has four bedrooms and a maid’s quarters, and it’s conveniently located around the corner from my grandmother’s place, which is next door to my uncle’s house and store. Within a 5 block radius, there are more of my relatives than there are streetlights.

Okay, the truth is, there are no streetlights in this neighborhood. There is also no hot running water and no buses. If you want to get around, you either hop on a jeepney, take a tricycle, or walk. Very few people own their own vehicles. But yeah, back to my point: A lot of my relatives live around here.

In total, my grandmother had 10 kids. With the exception of two of those kids, everyone had kids. So my grandmother has 32 grandkids and at least (I think) 30 great-grandkids. We’re a big extended family.

It’s cool to know that there are at least 100 people living in this country who will come to mine and Riley’s aid if necessary. They’ll do it not just because of some intangible and ambiguous concept of “family”, but because that’s just how the Rubio clan rolls. And that right there is a major lesson of life that doubles as an excuse for making this move: Family. You can’t escape it and sometimes it’s a necessary evil, and sometimes those are good things. I’m sure Riley could have learned that lesson in the States, but here, where dusty banana trees sway in smog-polluted air, somehow that lesson seems more poetic.

Speaking of big families, Rob has one, too. I’m not sure about his dad’s side, but I know for a fact that his mom’s side rolls deep. There were a few times – like when one of his cousin’s said that her Russian mob “husband” would kill me if I ever broke Rob’s heart, and when another of his cousins dissed me via freestyle verse – that I’d rather he come from a small clan of a dozen would-be foes. But those days are no more. Maybe it’s because I’ve birthed another member of their family, or because I now call Rob’s mom “mom”, but somewhere along the line, I not only accepted these people as my own family, but started to feel accepted by them as well.

So far, the plan is rolling along smoothly. Riley and I are safely in the Philippines. I’m enrolling in college and registering as a nursing major this Saturday; by the following Monday, I’ll be in school. Rob’s in New York, working at a bar and ferreting his tips so he can send us money every month. He’s enrolling in classes this week to start his radiology course. We have a Skype date every night. A few of my creative plans are already coming along smoothly. By the end of November, we’ll have a nanny for Riley, I’ll have started going to the gym, and our bedroom will have air conditioning. It’s amazing to personally experience progress.

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4 responses to “What happens when a big city dominatrix decides she wants to settle down and start a family?

  1. Good for you, I admire so much what you are doing for you, your baby and your future.

  2. Thanks, Becky! I’m all kinds of excited!

  3. “It’s amazing to personally experience progress. ” AWESOME!!! I’m so happy for you Maria! I’m trying, hoping, wishing to death that I get to experience progress myself very soon.

  4. Thanks, RO! I’m in your corner, lady, rooting for you!

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