“I’m not exactly maternal.”
From my favorite movie, The Birdcage. A mother who left her son to the baby’s father and his male partner. The definition of maternal in this line projects conventional images someone created toward female mothers. I relate because I am also not exactly maternal, at least not in the traditional sense, despite being an at-home mother for the past ten years. I got the idea of drawing bears’ butts while staying home with my baby sons until the younger one started going to school a few years ago.
I had never imagined before that I would stay home with kids. I had no idea how to be around a little baby. For the first six months or so, with my first child, I just worked hard doing what I had learned to take care of a little life. Once the little alien stage was over though, I found myself so fascinated by his strength and curiousity. Crawling, chewing, pulling and roaring! He was a ball of energy, and his charm and unconditional love recharged my energy. I really loved looking at him from behind when he was moving his heavy butt left to right, crawling towards a toy, holding himself up on a sofa with his chunky legs, and building and drawing something intensely. I felt strong energy from his back and butt, and it made me feel very protective. It almost looked like that he was talking with his butt saying, “I can do this!” That reminded me of a video clip showing a litter of bear cubs.
It helped me to realize how much I enjoy watching someone challenging themselves. I thought it would be interesting to show our awkwardness, silliness, and cuteness through bear’s butts. We all learn from trial and error and experience so many obstacles and challenges before we get to where we want. When you look back from where you are standing now though, all that experience becomes beautiful and fond memories. Hopefully bear butts would remind all of us to enjoy the process of achieving our goals. Embrace our failures and have a sense of humor to laugh at ourselves in the situations where we actually want to cry or hide from the world.
You can see some of the progress on my instagram account @yukamila. Stay tuned for more of the bear adventures!