Dear Mom

Dear Mom

You asked me to list ten things I loved about my childhood. I didn't forget. I was just touched by the question for many reasons none of which happened to be the answer to the question. Motherhood (so I hear) is a challenge in addition to being awesome and fulfilling and all that jazz. But I hear that it's also very very hard, kind of like elective surgery but without morphine. You didn't HAVE to do it. Decades of thankless work and sleepless nights in the hope that your kid stays out of trouble, makes good work and doesn't blame you for every damn thing that goes wrong. As we know, sometimes things happen that we don't expect. This is called LIFE.

And growing up means learning how to dance with the great big unknown in style, with grace. Not just moping around, sulking in sweats mumbling about shoulda woulda coulda's. So I wanted to share a few of my top hits of childhood and the joy of being your daughter. 

1. I loved growing up in Cranbury, New Jersey in a house I believed was a mansion with my own room and furniture to match in a neighborhood that was safe and peaceful.

2. I loved that we celebrated Christmas every year even though we weren't Christians. You wanted us to be part of something bigger no matter what it was and that has always stayed with me.

3. When I would get sick or recover after an asthma attack, my eyes would get puffy and itchy. You would put a sheet over them, press your lips right over each socket and blow. I loved being that close to you.

4. I remember walking into elementary school with you holding my hand. You would walk me to my class. I was so proud you were my mom. You looked like a movie star and I knew it. Everybody knew it.

5. You taught me funny. Your laughter was contagious and when you'd get into that wheezing, high-pitched scream-laugh, well hell, nothing else would matter. What made you laugh like that? I wanted to know. Years later when I started performing, when it was a comedy I would think to myself, would it make mom laugh? Most of the time, everyone else laughed too.

6. I don't remember you ever treating me like a child even when I was one. I think this gave me a kind of confidence in myself that I could be with myself no matter what I was feeling.

7. I loved getting dressed up and taking family portraits at JCPenny.

8. I think the first time I realized you were a human and not a slice of perfect was during your divorce. As hard as it was to see you suffer, it showed me the power of a woman undone. I had that rare gift (that I can only understand now) of watching a woman behind closed doors dissolve a life and rebuild a new one with two small kids in a foreign land. I watched you cut your long black hair and get a job in Manhatten and eventually buy a house for us. I watched you change. Even now I do not mistake vulnerability with weakness. When I cry, I feel my strength. When I'm heart broken, I know in my bones something bigger than me in me is waking up. You were my first hero.

9. You dressed me in the most adorable well layered outfits. I THANK YOU.

10. I love where I come from. I love being Egyptian and American. I love being a female. I love being the first born. I love that my face says all of this before my words do. I love my family.

Denmo is the founder and CEO of Earthbody. She is a writer, artist, therapist, and coach. You can reach Denmo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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