The children of their own accord made a little shrine in our trees the other day. (They affectionately call these trees, The Wildness.) They gathered lilacs and other flowers in bloom, made blue sashes with star badges, and used sticks for swords. They also made a little flag.
It was all in honor of Mary, Our lady, Star of the Sea. I have no idea why they chose this title, especially since we live nowhere near a sea. (Does the Missouri River count?)
After making all their preparations, they marched my husband and I outside and made us all stand in a line with the 5-year-old leading the way with the flag. Then, we sang their favorite Marian song, Regina Caeli, as we walked through the yard and Wildness to their prepared shrine. Once there, the boys made us walk through their swords, which were meant to be something like the Knights of Columbus, and we solemnly knelt down and prayed, asking for Mary’s intercession for our family.
It was sweet and beautiful.
But you know what? They wouldn’t have done this or had time for it, if we constantly shuffled them around from one activity to another.
Dear families, slow down.
Put the screens away. Let your children play and use their imaginations. If they complain of boredom, make them lie out on a blanket under a tree and stare at the leaves and the sky. Give them a notebook and make them write down 50 things they can see. Clouds? Bark? Ants? Blades of grass? Birds?
Maybe you will want to join them?