A few days before #MightyWoody was born, we went to see The Greatest Showman. I adore this movie. I have been part of live theater and dance my entire life, so it is no surprise that I love this movie.
When Woody was born just a few days after we saw it, I realized that seeing this movie was just one of a few events that occurred right around Woody's birth that feel like more than just coincidences. It is not a stretch to say that this movie - and its music - were part of my healing process.
I would have loved The Greatest Showman because of the music, because of the dancing, because it is about the heart that goes into making people smile by sharing your fun. But the reason I fell in love with this movie at this time was because of Woody. It The Greatest Showman celebrates differences. It takes the people that don't fit in - and in some cases people who have been hidden away by others because of their differences - and gives them a home.
It is what the theater has always been for me personally. A place for the misfits. A place where the point is to work together to make sure all the perspectives can be heard. A place where we can study our own humanity because human beings are the essence of the art form. Where the smallest character in a play still has a full, rich story. Where we learn to empathize with people whose experiences are different from our own. Where we watch vulnerability and in turn, hopefully, learn something about our own.
Owning our differences is not easy. Neither is owning our sameness. Some of us spend a lot of time trying to stand out. To rise about the pack. To be accepted and through that acceptance somehow noticed. It would be unfair for me not to admit that I have often been this person. It is then an emotional curveball to catch myself wishing for sameness as the parent of a "different" child who will most likely always stand out in some way. Oh the complexities of being a human!
My prayer for my son with a limb difference is for him to know that he is whole. After that, I want his life to be filled with his choices of how to express that. To choose how to be noticed (or not).
For all of this...my anthem is THIS IS ME from The Greatest Showman
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are
But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious
Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun
we are warriors
Yeah, that's what we've become
and I know that I deserve your love
'cause there's nothing I'm not worthy of
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me