We went out to the grocery store this morning, and after I took the kids to the local Catholic schoolyard to play. No other kids there, so we didn't stay for long. Thomas doesn't mind relative solitude but Nat gets restless without other children. I'm still not sure how we produced an extrovert.
After people were starting to get squirrelly I packed everyone up and announced that we were going to the little Our Lady of Fatima shrine half a block away to pray for the Christians in Egypt, and for Egypt generally. I gave Nat a short and very incomplete rundown and he complained all the way to the shrine, because, he says, prayer is boring and boring things make him feel tired. But when we got there he stood with me, willingly made the Sign of the Cross, remembered about half the Hail Mary on his own, and repeated the other half after me. Thomas stood with us for about half of it and then went wandering around the garden.
Nat then whined for the first block walking back, but I'm actually amazed and impressed that he did it. At all. A partial win.
I think maybe I'll try to take them over there to pray once a week or so. My rosy visions of noon Mass have collapsed because I don't have a baby-minder, and I am not taking all four of them at nap time, but we could still stop at the shrine to pray...