OPINION: For All the Joan's Out There

This one is for all the Joan’s out there.

My family has always been close, a family trait I don’t take for granted.
At the root of it all is one strong, smart, beautiful and powerful woman who has kept it that way for decades.

My mom, Joan, is one of a kind.

She’s the kind of mom that all of my friends love (she always gets the first hug and ‘Hello’ when we’re all together), but she’s also the kind of mom that they know won’t be afraid to tell them to behave—even now in our late 20s.

Like any family, we have had our share of arguments and disagreements, but at the end of the day they all point back to her wanting the best for us.

Joan is the kind of mom who says her family is her biggest accomplishments, and it’s not just something she thinks she should say. She truly believes it and proves it often.

My dad, Steve, works in blacktop construction, which meant a lot of Wisconsin summer weekdays growing up that were just Joan and the kids while we waited for dad to get home.

There were days we drove mom absolutely crazy, and it always got to the point where my brother and I looked at each other and thought, “She’s pretty patient, but now we’ve
done it.”

(Dad got his turn of us driving him crazy in the winter, too, trust me).

But Joan was—and is—our rock. She held it together with two crazy, emotional and sometimes reckless teenage boys, always making sure we had support if we needed it while also expecting high standards from us even when she wasn’t around.

She taught us how to be part of a family— how to always be there for the day to day grind of picking up after ourselves and each other and to always believe in our potential and never settle for less than we deserve.

There were some weeks she had to drive us across the state for summer baseball or hockey and sleepovers at friends’ houses.

She hosted pool days with a bunch of crazy kids trying to throw each other off a deck and beating each other with inflatable pool “floaties” while thinking hitting golf balls near a house window was a good idea.

Joan did a lot for us growing up, and she continues to do it all to this day.

She calls me a few times a week just to ask how things are going. She’s calling to check in, to be a good mom and just because she misses me now that I’m out of the house.

She helped me pick my engagement ring for my future wife, and the two of them are now super close, too (I knew I was in it for the long haul when Molly and my mom started picking on me together).

Joan is the kind of mom anyone would be lucky to have. Although most people say her kids look more like dad, she should get a ton of credit for who we are today.

I know I wouldn’t be where—or who—I am today without her.

To all the Joan’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day. Even if we never said it out loud, you were our first super hero and best friend.

We love you.


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