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From the Ashes of Disaster

alec vanderboom

I've infected my family with a passion for musical theater. At only eight months old, Alex came to watch his mother solo as a gossipy Pick-A-Little Lady in the "Music Man". Hannah knows all the lines in "Meet Me in St. Louis." Yet nothing has quite impacted our family as the beloved "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

During our harrowing ten week stretch of unemployment in 2005, we played this musical nearly every day. Jon and I gave up our apartment and moved in with our in-laws (along with kids ages 3 & 1 and our dog) during a desperate search for work in NYC after our beloved advertising business finally bit the dust. My father-in-law, a stately retired New York State Trooper, never saw anything so goofy as his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren dancing around with hats and canes to "the Old Bamboo" in his living room. Still, somehow a rousing chorus of "From the Ashes of Disaster Comes the Roses of Success" always made me sleep better at night.

Song Lyrics from "The Roses of Success" in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble.
Next time you'll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses of success!
Oh yes!
Grow the roses!
Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!

(By January 2006, Jon had a new job in Washington D.C. and our finances are finally recovering in 2007. My perfectionism and embarrassment of failure, of course, still remain. I'm sure the Good Lord will send me a few more testing times to rid me of such pesky shortcomings. At least next time I'll already have my these song handy!)