Then yesterday something made me not only read, but decide to go. I think it was a Lent thing. I don't mind going to 40 Days - when I used to go several times a week, I actually liked it, in a way - but the thought of going with my kids terrified me. Any time I had a passing thought of going I would immediately get a mental picture of my kids screaming and moaning for me to leave. I couldn't imagine them putting up with being in the stroller but not really going anywhere.
And then there's what I really hate - getting them all ready, buckling them into car seats, getting them out, buckling them into the stroller, getting them back into their car seats, putting the stroller in the trunk... well, that is my idea of penance.
So, I knew I had to go. The second I began to think about how much I didn't want to do it, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to stretch myself on this Lenten Friday. And so I did.
It helped that it was a beautiful day - 80 degrees and sunny. And, to my surprise, Clara and Luke were amazing. They sat through two Rosaries (we walked back and forth in front of the abortion clinic) without making a peep. We prayed with two nice ladies until they had to leave, and since no one else showed up, I decided to stay until my kids became unruly. We ended up staying another hour!
I let Clara get out of the stroller for the last ten minutes, which she loved. She even waved to passing cars.
They had a lot to look at, which was key. There was a busy intersection for them to watch, the occasional fire truck, and lots of dogs. I think Luke was barking for about ten minutes straight at one point.
I'm going to try to go with them every Friday now that I know they can handle it. But then there's me. I have a lot of work to do. As I walked back and forth, praying the Rosary, nearly out of breath in the 80 degree sun, I compared it in my mind to running. I don't particularly like running, I'm not the type of person who would choose to run just for the fun of it. If I did run, I'd be so tired that with every step I would want to quit. But when it was over, I'd be happy I did it.
That's how praying is for me. I'm out of shape. Very out of shape. Forty minutes in, and with fifty to go, I was mentally exhausted. I wanted to pack it all in and go home.
What a terrible thing to admit, right? I should love praying. Love saying the Rosary. And the heartache that abortion causes me should make me want to stand out there hours on end.
But I'm weak.
So, in the end, I learned it's not about my kids hacking it. It's about their mother. Hopefully with God's grace, I can get myself there at least once a week this Lent. It's the least I can do.