Look, I’ve got 7 children, and I get asked from time-to-time, “Oh, my, how do you survive that?” I am usually assaulted with this question while buying groceries or purchasing strong coffee or standing in line at the DMV or getting my haircut. You know, the usual places, and my answer varies according to the asker and the situation. For posterity, I’ll offer a few of my varied responses below.
Question: Are all those children yours?!
Question: Haven’t you figured out how that happens yet? (Wink, wink.)
Answer: Yes, and it’s enjoyable. (Wink!)
Exclamation: Wow! Your hands are full.
Response: Yes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Question: Seriously, how do you survive that?
Answer: That’s why I’m here buying strong coffee.
But really, that last answer isn’t the full truth. We survive–and I flatter myself it’s more like “thrive”–because we pray a family rosary every. single. day. Most of the time we pray it in the evening, after supper chores, but sometimes it has to be in the van, if we’re busy.
Our family rosary, however, is the most non-contemplative rosary that I pray. I mean, I have 7 children and most of them can hardly sit still, let alone kneel. And we moved to kneeling awhile back.
Actually, kneeling is more helpful because then no one needs to be touching another person, whereas on the couch, someone is always poking or punching their neighbor. Lest you be deceived, however, kneeling doesn’t solve all problems. You’d be surprised at how one brother can sock another brother as quick as lightening and look as innocent as a dove.
And those are just the brothers. There’s also the little girls. While the 6-year-old does kneel, she has a giggling problem. Everything is just so funny and entertaining! Which is true, because the 3-year-old is always sneaking out of her spot and gathering things–tissues, dolls, random hair binders left on the floor… Then she distributes them, which provokes the 1-year-old to follow suit. Not kidding. It’s a regular circus at times. In fact, here’s a picture from last night:
You’ll notice in the above photo that all the girls are sporting lovely hair clips. That’s because “The Baby” wandered around during the rosary and adorned everyone’s hair. Was this distracting? Yes. But someone forgot to shut the bathroom door, wherein all hair clips are located, and she meandered over there and came back with a skirt full.
Now, my husband had a choice at this point. He could have stopped all rosary-praying and collected all hair pieces amidst loud protesting cries, or he could allow the rosary to continue with only occasional giggles from the girls.
And giggling won. Last night anyway. And the following were my meditations during this fiasco:
1st mystery: Spare us, O Lord
2nd mystery: Graciously hear us, O Lord
3rd mystery: Lord, have mercy on us
4th mystery: Lead me not into temptation
5th mystery: Deliver me from evil, O Lord
You might be wondering if it’s worth it?
I mean, “praying” the rosary every night? Yes. Yes, it is. It’s the most beautiful thing we do together as a family. And while we’re working on maintaining prayerful postures and and meaningful meditations, our heavenly Mother is interceding for our souls.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
P.S. I know I said I probably wouldn’t be writing a post for a few weeks, due to the move, but I guess this one just spilled out and wrote itself. Actually, I didn’t feel like packing… But now, for real, I probably won’t write another post for a few weeks.