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Yo Momma!

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Adrienne Yeardye; Creatively Hip

It’s fun. The title of our topic this week comes from this funny game I used to play with my Mom. She was the Secretary in a primary school, and every so often she would need to bring home the label machine (old school and totally cool). I would punch out a few “yo momma’s” and sneak-stick them onto hidden spots for her to find — the calculator, inside her wallet, or the last page of a notebook, anything like that. I loved it when I was in the house when she’d find one; she’d always burst out laughing and then call out to me: “Arrrr… Adrienne!” I’d get to laugh and yell out: “got you!”

Twenty years later, the “yo momma” on her calculator is still there, and we still laugh. Yes, I totally got her, but the truth is, she totally gets me. She knows exactly who I am, and what I’m trying to do in the world. It IS a fun game, but it’s also a whole lot of work. I am ahead of the curve, so often the next steps are unclear; I have to create them on my own. These writing communities are an expression of a heart that never breaks, but frequently falls out of my chest and onto her kitchen floor. No matter what the issue, she always stands there and listens until the solution pops out of my own mouth. She is the perfect reflection for that part of me that wants to give all of myself to something outside of myself, to be the best I can be for others.

In those conversations, when the frustration has subsided, I know by the look on her face which direction to go next. It’s like a confirmation. Failure is an opportunity to see the next open door, and frustration polishes my mistakes into the extraordinary work that we offer in these communities. The “me” is a “we” now, and these conversations with my Mom are part of the foundation.

I always laugh as I drive away from her house on those days. My mind handles adversity and fear in cartoon — flashes of the event in technicolour and caricature. In these moments with Mom, the image is her picking my smiling heart up off of the floor, putting it back into my chest, and sending me back out to play.

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