And that, beyond the way she inspired teens who may have otherwise fallen through the cracks, beyond the performances that she leaves behind, may just be her greatest legacy.

Eight months in to the parenting journey, she began reflecting on life’s lessons. She shared with me “these ‘aha’ moments” about motherhood that she had been experiencing over and again. Fit Pregnancy and Baby. You’ll always question if things are going right, but that’s the beauty of being mom.”

She said she achieved this goal because of her close friends. “Naya and Josey were incredibly close and had a very tight bond,” said the Rivera insider, the actress never hesitating to clear her schedule to, say, hunt for caterpillars with her little man.

CelebHomes News spoke with her in 2018. She explained that she makes sure to make the time and keep organized. Once my son is picked up from school, then the rest of the day belongs to us. Whatever work needed to be done, could simply be put on hold: “Being a mom is always my first priority so everything else can sort of wait. There is nothing more important than this.

—Additional reporting by Amanda Williams

(Originally published July 14, 2020 at 12 a.m. PT)