Brenda Ulloa Martinez (BUM): Mom would drop us off at about 7:00 in the morning. And we’d take a bus ride on the public transit.
Corina Ulloa (CU): The RTD, the rough, tough and dirty.
BUM: And now I think about my girls and how little that really is to be seven and six. And your mom’s going in one direction and you’re going in another.
Camila Martinez (CM): I have a question. Would you guys ever, like, let us go on a bus on our own to school and just, walk away and go, see you later?
BUM: I don’t think my mom wanted to do that either. I think she did it because she had to. And I, I know I saw her once or twice with tears in her eyes, leaving us. And having to do that because she needed to go out and work.
CU: But she was very vigilant. She knew what time we would get home. She would call us every 20, 30 minutes, and make sure, “Y ya comieron? Y ya les dieron de comer a los niños?”
BUM: “Que estan haciendo?”
CU: “No estan peleando? Are you fighting? Did you eat already? What are you doing?” So we couldn’t get away with anything.
BUM: Remember when we cracked that firecracker in the kitchen?
BUM: And we tried to clean it up, but we weren’t good enough cleaners.
BUM: I don’t remember her being mad. I just remember it being something serious that we better never do again. [Laughs]
CM Were you guys ever scared to like have to be alone at your house knowing that it wasn’t very safe?
BUM: Many times.
CM: You guys had to be more independent than really I am now. Like, I still need help crossing the street.
BUM: We most definitely were. I don’t think it was because we were ready to be independent. It was because there was a need in our family for us to be independent.
CU: Regardless of how sad it was, I think it made us who we are.
BUM: Rough, tough, and dirty.
CU: Yeah. [Laughs]
BUM: When you can, I think instead of making your life a drama, or a novela, make it a sitcom.
BUM: You enjoy life much more when you look back and laugh at all the hurtful things that happened in your life.
CU: Yeah, and that’s the only way you can move forward because if you end up dwelling on the past, you can never take a step in the forward direction.