It's prom season ... and you know what that means.
Teens across America are getting dressed up, making reservations at their most luxurious local Applebee's, then dancing the night away in a school gymnasium where the basketball hoop has been artfully decorated to fit the theme. (Quick question: Why is the theme sometimes Titanic? Do people not know what happened after all the dancing was done on that ship?)
Prom also means agonizing over who you're going to go with. Are you going to ask someone? Will you wait and hope to be asked? Will you go alone? With a group of friends? Who will you take photos with? And will they end up in the yearbook?
You remember what that was like, right? It was a big deal.
So one high school senior became a big deal — all because he brought his mom to prom.
Meet Joe Moreno (aka Joe Angel), a senior in Corpus Christi, Texas. Back when he was in middle school, he asked his mom, Vanessa, to prom. Now, that may sound a little strange, but Moreno had a very good reason. Well, two.
First, moms are awesome. Second, Joe's mom missed her own prom. Vanessa had to leave high school when she became pregnant at 17. So all the things she thought she'd get to do, she told KRIS-TV, had to be put aside so she could raise Joe, and eventually, his siblings.
"It was a sacrifice that I had made. My sacrifice was to give my children my all. I put everything into him. I push them to become everything they can," she said.
Joe thanked his mother, who he refers to as "the most important woman in his life." He told the school his story, asked for permission to bring his mom, and then picked her up with a corsage in hand.
The mother-son duo topped it all off by taking official prom photos, which Joe posted on Twitter.
My mom had me at the age of 17 she dropped out of high school to focus on giving me her all. Last night I gave her… https://t.co/OmsBVGLwgK— Joe Angel⁶𓅓🦆 (@Joe Angel⁶𓅓🦆)1523720213.0
Some additional photos https://t.co/ERQuET5CLH— Joe Angel⁶𓅓🦆 (@Joe Angel⁶𓅓🦆)1523738265.0
Joe's story has the internet in happy tears.
In a world where things are often frightening and confusing, this story provides the level of wholesomeness that we all so desperately need. Moreno's prom pics went viral, and Twitter couldn't handle their emotions, with scores of people telling Joe how much he'd inspired them.
@joeamoreno8 @Team_Super_VA Dude.. that’s the cutest most respectful thing a man can do. Your momma raised you righ… https://t.co/DyZ0luh0pI— •♡j♡• (@•♡j♡•)1523888697.0
@joeamoreno8 This is the sweetest thing ever. Your mom did a beautiful job raising you to be a gentleman. ❤️— sarah (@sarah)1523850391.0
@joeamoreno8 @FastLaneTaddx You couldn’t have made a better choice. And mama looks amazing baby.— Crown♚Skin (@Crown♚Skin)1523894618.0
@joeamoreno8 @cole_woorld Bless your heart omg ❤️😫 https://t.co/sN4VuLHEFo— Kelsey Glenn 🦊 (@Kelsey Glenn 🦊)1523762352.0
One person also made an important discovery:
Hey, it's a good dress, okay? It's a good dress!
This story's an important reminder to show the people closest to you how much you love them.
No, you don't have to take your mom to prom — although this could definitely become a trend — but it's never wrong to show love and gratitude to the people who make your life better (in fact, research shows that it will make you happier).
Joe's gift of prom has certainly brought he and his mom closer together. Missing it the first time around was something Vanessa felt she "had to sacrifice so that I could work and give to my child without anyone else helping me." Years later, it turns her her son feels just as strongly about doing right by her.
"My mom's the most important person to me. I really love her and everything she's done for me," he said. Now everyone else does, too.