One goal I had for our family was to pray the rosary together. But because of their often unruly prayer-time behavior, I figured praying the rosary was something we'd have to wait to do until at least the first ones were quite a bit older.
My parents gave me this rosary for my first communion. I love it because the beads are pink hearts.
Last month I read a post over at Our Mother's Daughters in which Leila clearly outlined how to begin praying a family rosary. Not only was it very practical, but she gave specific advice about how to introduce it to young squirmy noisy children like mine! You really need to go over and read it.
I told my husband about it and his reaction was just what I expected: doubtful. But after I gave him the details he said he'd be up for trying it. I just needed to gather up some rosaries.
My great-uncle, who was a priest, brought me this rosary from Medjugorje.
Well I put that little job off-making it out to be a much bigger job in my head than it really was. Fast forward through the entire month of October and half of November to last Saturday night. The night I mentioned where we were all on bad behavior from traveling and no naps. There was NO WAY we were going to do family prayer. Unless...
I grabbed the rosaries (it took 1 minute-why do I put these things off?) lit a candle and called the kids. Just holding the beautiful beads in their chubby hands dropped the intensity in the room by half. We prayed just the "tail"-everything before the first decade. The kids already knew the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be so they could join in. They felt very grown up because they knew it was a special prayer Mommy and Daddy prayed. It was truly amazing.
So we've done it three times total. It has gone so well that we're going to do the tail plus a decade tonight. Last night when I pulled out the little bags that hold the rosaries they were so excited that they came running into the room shouting "Ro-za-ree! Ro-za-ree!"
This rosary belonged to the same great-uncle who was a priest. My dad gave it to my husband when he came in to the Church, but I took it over. My great-uncle and his twin brother were both called to be priests-how cool is that?!
I realize the enthusiasm will wear off. But seriously, it's possible to pray (at least some) of the rosary with little, crazy, wild children. In the words of JP2: "Be not afraid."
I told the kids that at the end, after the sign of the cross, they could give Jesus a kiss. My son gave him a zerbert (we call it a zurp). But that's a sign of affection around here, so I bet the Lord doesn't mind.