Most mornings, I take the elementary/middle school kids to their school and then continue on to work. For years and years, we had a morning prayer routine in the car. We would say the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God, and St. Michael prayers, with each kid leading one of the prayers so that everyone got a turn. Then we would go around and say what we wanted to pray for, and what we were thankful for, and finally blow a kiss to Jesus and a kiss to Mary and bless ourselves for the day.
A few years ago, our pastor encouraged us to pray a rosary daily in the months of Mary, and so we started listening to the rosary (this specific one) to start our day off on the right foot. The rosary trumped our morning prayer routine, and became the new norm, and the kids were pretty reverent and respectful while it was on.
This year, I now have the new preschooler (Brendan, age 3) in my car in the morning, and I realized that listening to the rosary, as opposed to saying it out loud, wasn't helping him learn his prayers. When I would hear him pray the Our Father or Hail Mary at night before bed, it sounded like an impersonation of a drunk uncle. OurFaddawhoatHeavenhawoobeitsname, and so on. The kid needed help!
So back in came the morning prayer car routine. Having the little ones partake now like the older ones did when they were younger has brought back so many memories. Namely, that kids will fight about anything (who gets which prayer) and also that the things they want to pray for and be thankful for are so ridiculous/cute/sweet/crazy. So far this year, Brendan has prayed for:
"B for Brendan"
"My new bath sponge"
"Same as Declan"
"All the birthday parties"
"Bryce cuz he always cries for his mommy"
"My Batman shoes"
"Ugh, I don't know!"
We all try not to laugh and just let him speak his heart. I know in time, his prayers intentions will grow alongside his maturity. Until then, I'm just going to delight in his little ways and thank God for these moments together.