Monday, November 14, 2011

Fasting, Fighting and Finishing the Rosary

So, I took a break.  I'd love to tell you I fasted all day, but it didn't happen.  I checked twice during the day, once because my daughter asked me to email her teacher.  The other time, was both habit and wilful ignoring of my prior plan. 

Evening came and my second son and I had been butting heads.  This is not news, it's not out of the ordinary, he frequently figures out how to agitate and then proceeds until everyone is irritated.  Sometimes, it seems a sport to him.  He'd managed to spend the afternoon playing sibling ping pong, sending me multiple crying or irritated "Mommmm...he's bothering me." type messages from most of his brothers and sisters.  I'd tried talkings, separating, taking a walk myself, sending him outside, calling my mom.  It felt hard, tiring, futile.  What am I doing?  Do I have to keep doing it?  What else can I do?

So I'm on my knees transfering the laundry, wondering how to manage all these persons, chain praying my rosary, as is often my habit, having paired the spiritual task of saying it daily with the everyday must do chore of folding.   How can I do this Mary? I'm begging her for answers, hoping she'll solve this for me because frankly, I know I don't want to solve it, I want to be annoyed and use irritation and lectures and I know that won't work.   I also know I'll get mad that it doesn't work just like it hasn't worked before, and that it will end in bad words and bad feelings.  I don't want that so I make dinner.  I deliberately make his favorite dinner. 

It doesn't work.

The squabbles continue. 

Attempting to reestablish control, I divide and dress half for bed, ordering the others to their homework or other assignments that must be done.  The television is put on by someone.  It is Harry Potter.  They all gravitate to the screen and I capitulate.  There's no gas left in the tank and I'm starting to feel sick.

Some time after the movie starts, I started having a spasm of coughing, my face turned red.  I know it scared my son.   I assured him I was fine but he knew my history, he knew of my vocal cords, of my thin airway, and of my bad reactions to colds.  His voice betrayed his worry, his fear when my coughing got loud.  I took some medicine and tried to brush it off but promised to call his dad if it persisted.  Half an hour later, the cough returned and my second son ordered me to lie down.  He brought me ice water.  He asked, "Have you prayed today?"  I indicated that I still hadn't finished my rosary.  He told me to pray in my head and he began at once.  Sitting there on the couch, watching my 12 year old son pray the rosary and fold towels to start the Herculean task of what I hadn't finished, both in prayer and for the domestic needs of the family, my eyes brimmed with tears.

Mary had answered in that gorgeous way that only the Blessed Mother can. 

When he finished, he came over and gave me a hug and rubbed my feet for a bit and I was able to help fine tune the folding, finish up and hug him good night.  I marvel that I could feel anything but overwhelming love for this child, it is heartbreakingly wonderful and I try to let the whole moment fill my heart, to store it and keep it for the next time I'm tempted to respond too quickly.

It is a beautiful and rare thing to hear one's son pray.  


Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

Oops. Looks like I was a tad bit early for Small Successes today...I will come back later ;) However, I think this whole post of yours qualifies as one, so if you don't feel like thinking up new material for your meme today, you could re-post this as a "ditto".

maria said...


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