The Other Side

The next song in my "Greatest Showman and Autism" series is "The Other Side."  Now, I don't want to ruin the movie for you, but this song is basically Hugh Jackman's character getting Zach Efron's character super drunk and he agrees to work with him on his circus.  Oh, and they dance on the bar and tables a lot.  

My first thought was, "Okay, I can't really relate this one to autism."  Okay, well, maybe autism parents just need a break for a strong drink every now and then?!  Then it came to me...

So trade that typical for something colorful
And if it's crazy, live a little crazy
You can play it sensible, a king of conventional
Or you can risk it all and see
Don't you wanna get away from the same old part you gotta play
'Cause I got what you need, so come with me and take the ride
It'll take you to the other side
'Cause you can do like you do
Or you can do like me
Stay in the cage, or you'll finally take the key
Oh, damn! Suddenly you're free to fly
It'll take you to the other side

This song is about stepping out of your comfort zone.  Just living your life every day.  Doing what is expected of you - going with the flow, much like Carlisle (Efron) in the movie.  I have always been that person.  I do what others expect of me, I go with the flow, don't want to rock the boat.  I want people to like me, and I'm a people pleaser.  There, I admit it.   

Being an autism mom, though, that's changed me.  I have learned that just being easy-going and not rocking the boat, well, that doesn't get my son what he needs.  It's been a process - one that I'm still working on - but I have to speak up.  I have to fight.  I have to advocate.  

When your child is diagnosed with autism, no one is handing you the "Everything You Need for Children Who Have Autism, Where to Find It, and How to Get It" Manual.  The world in general is not going to hand over everything that he needs.  It is my job to research, learn what he needs, locate that, and then fight tooth and nail for him to get it.  Our society isn't set up for people who are different, but someone has to change that. 

It's been like taking a ride to the other side. 

Yes, I am going to be "that mom."

Yes, I will stand up and fight for my son.

Yes, I will be fighting for all children in our state.

It isn't always easy, speaking up and "fighting the system."  But what's that saying?  The right thing and the easy thing are often two different things?  Doing what is right won't always be easy, but we do it because it the right thing to do.  

Yes, I will probably be straying from the crowd and rocking some boats.  People might not like that - others might judge me - but that's okay because this is circus and my monkeys and I'm going to take care of them.  If my child needs and deserves something, then by golly I'll fight for it.  

And maybe do some dances and musical numbers along the way. 

Stay tuned.  


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