I want to take a minute to celebrate my mom. MEET MY MOMMY, Ursula. My mom always encouraged my sister, brother and I to be creative, be the best we could be, use our brains, or never let anyone push us around. She taught us how to lead a room, how to not sweat the small stuff, why it's important to believe in ourselves and each other, how to be stronger than the boys, and MOST importantly, she instilled in us early on the importance of surrounding ourselves with funny people who can laugh at themselves. We didn’t have the most money growing up but my mother never spent a single dime on herself. Every last cent went to us: toys, activities, hobbies, sports, theater, and terrible tacky clothes that were in style-whatever we needed, she fought tooth and nail to never have to tell us no. She is my number one fan and I wouldn’t be as strong or independent as I am without her.
My favorite thing about my mom is her creativity. She is a Special Education teacher and she is so incredibly innovative. My mom went back to school to get her teaching credential when I was in elementary school and then went on to get her Master's Degree. She always thinks outside the box and taught us to always strive to do the same. She is the type of Mom who never said no to a 10 kid sleepover and never told us we were too loud or that we couldn’t do something because she was too tired to facilitate it. She encouraged us to go outside and play, slide down hills in refrigerator boxes or plastic swimming pools, use toys in as many different ways as possible, play with chalk in the street, get dirty, and to try to work problems out on our own. She would sit in the front yard every day and yell “CAR” while we rode our bikes in the street and probably taught 50% of the neighbor kids how to ride a bike or say NOT OK when a neighbor kid was being mean.
We always had an open door policy at our house and every kid in the neighborhood was welcome. She taught us to never exclude anyone from birthday parties; it was the entire class or no party. She would remind us to be the first person to welcome the new kids and to make sure no one ate alone at lunch time. She would always tell us, “Don’t let anyone bully anyone.” (I blame my mother for my sassy attitude and lack of fear of authority figures. It’s a blessing and a curse.) AND MOST IMPORTANTLY she taught me that the answer is always a dance party. You can’t trust anyone who isn’t afraid to act a fool and dance like no one’s watching.
When my brother passed away I saw her shatter into a million pieces. I remember lying in bed with her and she turned to me and whispered “I don’t think I can be a fun Mommy anymore.” And that never happened. Things changed. We all changed. But she never stopped being any less fun, incredible, loving, hilarious, smart, driven or supportive or my mom. And she didn't give up. She fought harder for us. She is my rock and she is the strongest, bravest and most intelligent woman I know. She always has my back and whenever I am afraid to go for something she is the first person to tell me that I should try. I know it's hard for her to have my sister and I out here in New York and not back in San Diego but she never misses a beat to tell us how proud of us she is or that even though it's hard she will always have our backs. I can’t imagine being anyone else's daughter and I am so incredibly lucky to be able to call her my Mom.
She is truly, THE BIGGEST bad ass and my all time hero.