“I try to,” I answered brightly, happy to be able to honestly answer in the affirmative. I’m not always successful, but it is a goal, and I’m best when I can go for a run. I pray when I run.
“Do you pray it with your husband…with your kids…or just by yourself?” he pressed.
“Just by myself,” I sheepishly admitted. That’s MY time.
“Well, you know, it would be good to say it with the children…just think about it…”
I DON’T WANNA! Mentally, I threw myself down like my three year old, kicking my feet and writhing from side to side. Really, no matter how far along the path I may think I have come in shunning selfish behavior, I find myself right back at square one: ME AND WHAT I WANT.
I want peace and quiet. I want meditation. I want quiet whispers at the mouth of a cave on a mountaintop.
I do not want 20 minutes of fussing and fidgeting and correcting pronunciations (or remaining calm and ignoring all of the above). I do not want little eyes rolling and little mouths moaning at the torture their mother is putting them through.
But actually, my three older children love to pray the rosary. It is the next two, who are very young, who do the fussing. And the fidgeting. (They all do the bad pronunciations.)
And so, I thought about it.
I discussed it with a friend. Well, actually, I told her just how impossible it was. After all, I was struggling to develop a habit of morning prayers with the children: morning offering, praying for the Pope and his intentions, Guardian Angel prayer. Five minutes, that’s all I had. I couldn’t possibly do a 20 minute rosary every morning. Or afternoon. Or evening.
But then I thought, maybe a decade. That would only add about 5 more minutes. Couldn’t I do that?
And immediately an opportunity arose: Bill’s physical therapy. Three mornings a week, we all drive him over for his knee. The other two weekdays also have us in the car.
So we have expanded our morning prayer to include one decade of the rosary. We alternate what mystery we “meditate” on. We go around for the Hail Marys: Fritz, Billy, Katie, even Jenny, then Bill or I before we go around again for ten. It was a seamless transition, and the kids love it, even Jenny (after our first session where I basically said we would sit there until she did her part and, after about 3 minutes, she finally gave in and hasn’t been a problem since).
Today, in fact, we did it with such ease and so quickly that I wondered: couldn’t we do two decades? I’ll have to think about it…