Come Alive

Our second post from "The Greatest Showman" series is "Come Alive.

During this song in the film, P.T. Barnum is gathering his performers. He went out and found people who were different: the bearded lady, the giant, the dog man - people who were considered "freaks." I'm not here to argue whether or not Barnum was a good guy who helped the less fortunate gain employment and notoriety or a bad guy who exploited people for his own advantage (...but it was probably the latter). But regardless of his motives, he did give these people an opportunity that many would not have afforded them in that time. This song is encouraging them to come out of the shadows where they were so accustomed to living (or rather, hiding).

I see it in your eyes 
You believe that lie 
That you need to hide your face 
Afraid to step outside So you lock the door 
But don't you stay that way

 No more living in those shadows 
You and me we know how that goes 

 I don't pretend to speak for Colin, but as his mom, I relate to this song. When your child is different, you sometimes feel that you should hide them away. One, because life is a little harder sometimes when your child has special needs...Two, and this is the biggie - you sometimes want to hide them away for their protection. So people won't stare, or judge, or make rude comments because they're a little different. You want to keep them safe from the outside world that isn't so understanding and accepting of their differences. Other times, it would be easier to just stay home because pushing Colin outside of his comfort zone can be difficult - for him and for me. Not knowing how he will react to something new is stressful for this Mama Bear. Not knowing whether or not the new thing will stress him out...and I will stress out if he gets upset.  

When we are different - or our children are different - it might feel like the easiest answer is hide away, stay out of the public eye, fly under the radar...but we can't do that. We have to expose our kids to the world. Dr. Temple Grandin, an amazing pioneer in the world of autism, says that the best thing you can do for your child on the spectrum is to expose them to new things. Give them opportunities, give them new experiences - this is how they will grow and learn. 

Just like the song says,

'Cause once you see it
oh you'll never, never be the same
We'll be the light that's turning
Bottle up and keep on shining
You can prove there's more to you
You cannot be afraid

Our kids are more than their autism diagnoses. Just like the characters in the movie - they have so much to offer the world when given the chance.  

Don't be afraid - come alive!!


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