Missouri Supermom

The white suburban pulled into the campsite across from me. A tall, thin person in a long sleeved hoodie got out and proceeded to pull out what looked like two tents.  Then boxes and containers of “stuff”…food, musical instruments, containers and bags and cartons.  Three small boxes were placed in a row across the picnic table—what was that?  Juice boxes?  Then 3 small children spilled out of the vehicle, lined up along the picnic table and sat down in a row in front of the drinks, quietly watching as two small tents were erected. 

Then the hoodie was pulled back, revealing a blue eyed fair skinned woman sporting a number 3 buzz cut.  The kids were directed into a mini production line, bringing blankets and pillows into the tents. Then they formed a single file line and headed to the bathroom.  They remained in a single file line back to camp, then sat in a well behaved row on the picnic table bench again, watching the woman organize things in the boxes.

Wow, am I hallucinating? Never had I seen such well-behaved children. No screaming or running around camp. They stayed close to the woman, close to each other.  How does she do it?  What an amazing woman.   She arranged their dinners.  They ate, and put everything away.

They were all tucked away in their tents before dark.  Then the wind came, soon to become wind and rain.  I started thinking about the night I held onto my canopy for dear life for hours in the storm.  I quickly ran over to their tents and called out,

Are you guys ok in there? 

“Yes…some of them are already asleep.”

“Ok, good, I just want you to know, if you have any issues, please don’t hesitate to come over to my camper, I’ve got plenty of room.  Don’t hesitate!”

“OK thanks, right on.”  She replied

And I made it back across to my place just before the big rain hit.

The next morning I was in the bathroom when she came in with the 3 little kids, following quietly, single file, over to the bench by the showers.  They sat in a row, and patiently waited for instructions.  Two girls and a boy.

“Hi, I’m the one that came by last night to check on you.”

“Oh yeah, thanks, right on.”  I had the great fortune to meet Joni, the amazing woman from Missouri. 

What can I say about this person?  She is strong, confident, independent, daring, brave, calm, wise, centered and full of love for her kids.  She home schools 3 of her 4 kids, and they are positively geniuses in training. 

“Where’s your other child?”  I ask.  “Well we are on a long vacation, and he didn’t want to have to miss being in school that long.”

“But we get to learn things every day with mom.” the youngest chirps.

Joni has been married for 10 years, divorced for one.  Her X is still her best friend, but apparently they both realized they are looking for something more. When I asked her how she manages everything she does, her reply “I’m trying to be the best version of a person I can be, and teach these guys to do the same.”  That spoke quiet volumes. Joni aspires to be authentic, and teach her children to do the same.  If only she could be cloned.  What a great inspiration and leader on raising kids.

March is birthday month for Joni and all the kids.  She will be 37.  The kids are 4, 6 and 8, plus her boy, 11 back at home.  This trip is their combined birthday gift, and they will be heading back to Missouri in a few days to celebrate with the oldest boy too.  Happy Birthday to a truly authentic, super family.  Right on, Joni!


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