A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and
four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was
blurred, and his steps faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's
hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his
onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk sometimes spilled on the
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must
something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his
spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There
ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since
had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When
family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in
eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were
sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old son watched it all in silence. One evening before supper,
father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. he asked
child nicely, "What are you
making?" Just as nicely, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a
bowl for Papa and Mama to eat their food in when I grow-up." The
four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the
parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down
cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him
the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with
family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care
longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observant, their
ever listening, and their minds ever processing the messages they absorb.
they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family
they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise
parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for
child's future. Let's be very sure we are wise builders.
[ Author Unknown -- from Denial ]
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