My 19-year-old daughter crashed her car two weeks ago. And when I say that she “crashed her car,” I do not mean to say that she got into a fender bender. I mean to say that she crashed her car to the extent that airbags deployed on impact. I mean to say that her windshield shattered and the front end of her little Honda Civic looked very much like the peeled back tin top of a Pringles can. I mean to say that the paramedics on the scene told her—in no uncertain terms—that the seatbelt she was wearing most certainly saved her life. It was that kind of car crash. Remarkably, she walked away with just a few scratches.
Her car—as you probably guessed—was deemed a total loss. Given the pesky responsibilities of getting to and from both work and her college classes each day, the total loss of her vehicle is a most burdensome predicament. Of course the insurance settlement will help to fund the purchase of a replacement car, but saving the difference for another car isn’t terribly feasible, given her circumstances. Thus, transportation is quite problematic in the short term. “So, what’s the plan?” I asked, trying my best to give her room to spread her young wings and come up with a solution on her own.
“I’m going to apply for that Disney internship,” she answered. I am very familiar with the internship to which she referred. It’s a program she once dreamed of doing. She since gave up on that dream for various reasons. You can see, then, why the announcement caught me off guard.
“Really?” I asked, surprised.
“Yeah. It’ll give me a chance to save some more money for a car.”
“That it will,” I agreed.
One of the requirements for attaining her dream internship position was attending an audition in which candidates perform a choreographed dance before judges. The prospect intimidated her because she has no dance experience. Still, last Sunday I drove her to Phoenix and dropped her off at a dance studio where the audition was to be held. As she gathered her things to go in, I wished her the best of luck in her audition. And then I may or may not have bitten my nails to nubs in anticipation of the outcome.
I’m happy to report that my anxiety was all for not. Much to her delight (and mine!), she made it through not just the first cut, but all the way through the final round. In spite of the fact that just eight days prior, she was quoted to say, “I could never do an audition like that!”
Oh, but she did.
If she had never crashed her car, the chances of her summoning the courage to attend that audition were nil. But crash the car she did and now she’s infinitely closer to realizing a dream she almost gave up on. I can’t help but believe there is a lesson in there somewhere. Wisely, though, I’m choosing to let her find it on her own.