You know how everyone is always saying that praying the rosary together as a family is a good thing? And awesome thing? An inspiring thing? How it almost seems that you can tell how "Catholic" a family is by finding out if they say a family rosary together? What if I said it sure ain't all it's cracked up to be and I'm rather glad that we pretty much gave it up.
Yup, I admit it. We are a family rosary praying drop-out kind of family. And I think our overall spiritual life is better for it.
You see, we'd call the kids together and sit close and start praying. Usually we'd get no further than an Our Father or on really good days, the Sign of the Cross before all manners of chaos would break out. There would be a few kids slinging rosaries at each other. Fighting over who got the good one. Never mind that they never actually counted their prayers on the beads. Nope, they preferred to have them available for weaponry.
There would be at least one child who would sit there all smug because they knew "all" the prayers and could recite them perfectly. Never mind the ego that went along with the attitude and the gruffness with which they would try to correct siblings.
There would be at least one child who decided it was a race to make sure they finished reciting the group prayer before everyone else. Then they could look at the rest of us as if to say Na-na, I finished before you did. This usually warranted a lecture about how it was not a race.
And the kids who would pout and refuse to join in. The little ones scaling the furniture. The constant call of "would you just sit down and pray already" and the fighting and the pushing over "he took my seat" and a myriad of other stuff.
I love the idea of family prayer time. Love it. I think it is very important. But I've decided that the family rosary just isn't for us. We are trying to recover from abandoning all family prayer after we realized the nightly battle ritual was anything but reverent. Lately we've started saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a family instead. It's going ok. It's short. Much shorter. I think that works better for us. And we've tried to adopt a policy of you are welcome to not join us but if you choose to do so, you may head to bed. If you stay downstairs, you must be quiet. Ok, I still ended up yelling at the 2-year-old as she started flinging dvds on the floor tonight and at one of the older children as they decided it was an awesome time to start peeling the wrappers off crayons. But we're getting there. I hope.
So we can add this one to our proud moniker of NFP drop-outs (because you frankly don't have 10 kids in 15 years if you are truly "following all the rules"). We are also a proud family rosary drop-out kind of gang.