Before I was born, my mom and dad moved from Boise to Philadelphia. Upon arriving, they took a guided tour of the city. They saw the Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell, and all the other famous landmarks. At the end of the tour, my mom saw that they were hiring tour guides. Without thinking twice, she applied for the job, and within five days, she was leading the tour she’d just been on. She says that the people on her tour would exclaim, ‘How beautiful!’ and she would think (‘That’s exactly what I said last Tuesday!’) while seeming to everyone else like a Philadelphia expert.
When I was little, my mom worked for a municipal program in Chihuahua that helped wimyn find jobs. She set up training classes for the participants, taught them interview skills, and outfitted them in appropriate interview attire. She was so successful that soon the wimyn started bringing their husbands to her, and she helped them find jobs, too.
My mom had other jobs: at different points in my childhood, she worked for the newspaper, ran her own ad agency, and worked in the marketing department of the biggest chain store in town. But when I was in second grade, my mom decided she wanted to be a teacher.
We moved from Chihuahua to Texas, and she got her teaching degree. And then, she got her M.A. in Education because why not? She’d teach all day, and then go to class. Sometimes she’d pull all-nighters to finish her homework, always making sure that she did her very best. Her students’ parents would tell me, ‘You are so lucky to have her as your mother’, and her professors would say, ‘Your mom is an impressive student. You’re a lucky girl!’
My mom can become friends with anyone anywhere, and when she throws parties, sometimes the house gets so full that people end up sitting in the dining room, kitchen, living room, backyard, and even the bedrooms.
She taught me to treat everyone with dignity and respect, to learn the names of everyone at my school: the teachers, the principal, the custodians, and the crossing guards. She taught me to dream big and to trust myself and to let life be fun!