Wow! What a crazy week this has been. Forgive me for starting at the end of this story, but the most important thing to note when you are reading it is this: When one person chases their dreams, it not only changes their life, but also the lives of those around them.
OK, picking up where we left off, Crystal and Hayley were auditioning as character and parade performers on Saturday, the 19th. Both Hayley’s mother and myself were getting sporadic text messages from the girls, and we would compare notes to try and piece together what was actually happening in there. We dropped them off at 1:00, auditions began at two, and we didn’t get to see them again until 4:30.
At this point of our weird little week, the sun finally peered through the clouds. Maybe it was an omen, or maybe it was just a reminder to take a deep breath and relax and let the wind blow through our hair.
Malloree and I chose this moment to play miniature golf, which we kind of turned into a game of hockey-soccer-golf. This game is more violent than your typical game of putt-putt. The goal seems to be this: Everyone tees off at once, and then you use whatever necessary to keep the other person’s ball from actually making it to the hole. (I would recommend shin guards for those brave enough to try this.)
Unfortunately, that meant that our golf game was over pretty quickly, so we headed to the pool while the getting was good. As we left, it was very satisfying to know that had more fun than anyone else on that little fake mountain surrounded by cheesy waterfalls and knomes, as we walked away with an odd little memory for our “Grimes Family Vacation” file.
And, back to the auditions. At one point, Crystal sent me a message that read “we are waiting for the second phase of auditions.” Hayley sent her mom a message that read “we made the second cut!!!” so we hoped they were referring to the same thing and were very excited for them. Hayley sent her mother a message saying “this was the most fun they had ever had.”
But then we didn’t hear anything from them for a very long time. Thankfully, they were handling their nervousness better than I was. Malloree was in the pool for her 30 minutes of fun, and she finally told me that we needed to go inside because I was walking in circles and kept checking my phone waiting to hear something.
Soon, the girls texted us and said to come pick them up, but that they wanted us to be together. We took that as a good sign and made our way there with video cameras in hand.
They walked out together and tried to play it cool, but once they saw the cameras, they started jumping up and down, simultaneousely screaming and squealing in unidentifiable words. Once we all calmed down, we learned that they had both been offered full time jobs to work at Disney for a year as performers. The catch was that they needed to be available to move to Orlando within 4 weeks to begin training and rehearsals. They could come down later in the year if they chose to do so, but then they would be placed on a waiting list to see what roles were available at that time.
It didn’t take long for all of us to realize that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the girls would always regret it if they didn’t jump at this unbelievable chance to fulfill their dreams.
Soon, we were back in the audition facility and the girls were filling out paperwork to become official employees.
By the time we left, there were tornado watches and a serious storm in progress, but we barely noticed.
We drove overnight to get home right after that, (could someone please delete the state of Georgia from the map?) and I couldn’t help thinking that this was the best of all the possible happy endings I could have imagined.
Hour after hour, in the interstate highway darkness, I mulled over a few dreams of my own that may need to be dusted off. What’s the worse that could happen?
And it all started with Crystal’s desire to chase her dreams. What better place to find them than the “Land of a Million Dreams. . .”