An Ode to Wonderwoman

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Especially to my mother! I think she’s not only a fantastic role model for single mothers, but for all moms. Somehow, through all the trials and struggles, she was able to put me through 13 years of private schooling. After working 12 hour days, she still made it to soccer games and the many, many plays. There are many reasons why my mom is the best mom.

You know it’s the ’90s when there’s matching outfits! I’m about 10 months old here. My mom loved taking me to the park!

From the beginning, she single-handedly raised me. This came with its own struggle that I was greatly unaware of for most of my life (and still am). She wanted to give me a great childhood, despite the struggle. Many of my memories are filled of tea parties, fun dresses, great holidays, and fantastic vacations (including lots of Disneyland trips and trips up the central California coast).

Christmas in the mid-90s. I’m ~4-5 yrs old.

She was always the mom my friends would go to. I grew up with a vastly different mom than most people. There was no punishment or harping (unless it was cleaning day and I conveniently refused to be a functional human being), but rather, concern and lessons. By lessons, I mean, when I did something less than honorable, she would take it as an opportunity to guide me through the aftermath and allow me to reach my own conclusion that that decision was not a very good one.

Positano, Italy with my mom. One our favorite places!

She had an open attitude about life and about my life. Though it was undoubtedly hard for her at times, she was always more than willing to forfeit control to allow me to be myself. My summers often included me going off to another state (sometimes country) for a week or several at a time while my mom stayed home. During my teen years, there were periods (upwards of a month) where she wouldn’t be able to contact me because I wouldn’t have a connection, like when I was backpacking through Canadian wilderness for a couple weeks or when I was in London for half a month. I always felt at peace knowing that my mom completely trusted me and trusted that she raised a capable person.

Visiting the Trevi Fountain in Rome and trying not to slip on the rock. That little nook was a great break spot!

There hasn’t been a time where I had to question if my mom truly loves me. Some of my favorite memories are when she would read me stories and picture books. Or when she would take me on little San Diego adventures, like a new restaurant, or the Carlsbad flower fields, or trips up to Julian in the winter and spring. Or even just the lazy weekends after our hard weeks.

My mom and I before I left San Diego to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.

I, myself, have endured hard times. And though there were times where I felt like my future was bleak, I managed to pull through it because I consistently heard my mother telling me, “This too will pass” and “It’s okay that it’s hard. Sometimes, you just need to take care of yourself” and “This is temporary. Something good will happen soon. God always provides, even if it’s not what you think you want”. She taught me how to use my sense of humor. She taught me that just because I’m a girl, it doesn’t mean I can’t do what the boys do. I can get the leadership parts and the job. That my meaning in life is to not be someone who can cook and clean, but someone who can be intellectual and actively contribute to society. She taught me to stay open to the world and to others who struggle in ways that are hard for me to imagine, like through poverty and other social injustices. She taught me it’s okay to feel broken because that’s how you make room for growth. She taught me that it’s okay to fail, even when it’s the hardest thing I do, and to begin again. That even if I fail miserably, to keep going for me. That if I don’t like something, to stop doing it. That it’s okay to be mad, but don’t punish other people for your bad day. That no amount of money or stuff will ever replace the love of a family, of lots of family.

My mom is living proof that life can deal you a terrible hand, but as long as you have a positive outlook, great things will happen. She is someone I always consider in the running as a great female leader I look up to.There are very few people that I know that have touched this many lives in such an awesome way. I love her to death and I’m very fortunate and blessed to be able to call her “Mom”. I hope that one day, if I’m blessed enough to be a mom, that I can be as good of a mother. I’m looking forward to seeing her and my grandmother in a couple of weeks!

P.S. Since I always get asked this, no, I don’t know how my mom keeps her skin in such good shape. Yes, I know she only has like 2 wrinkles. Yes, I very much hope that I inherited her skin.

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