Saturday, May 22, 2010
There is an old story told about a Grandfather. I am going to retell it to you today.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do 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, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate 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 watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from 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 their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children can be so perceptive! Their eyes see everything you don't want them to, their ears hear everything you say (need I say the things that you don't want them to hear!), and their minds process those things that they see and hear until they absorb your teachings and influence in thir lives. They learn best by watching what you do and say. Which is why they often behave like you behave and not so much how you tell them to behave. If they see us behave patiently and provide a happy atmosphere at home, they will also imitate that same attitude in their lives. Isn't it amazing! We have the power to teach them to become so much better than we are if we just take the time. We can teach them to have the God given attributes that we are striving for if we will only work on implementing those things in our own lives.
Let us all be wise builders and role models to these sweet little ones sent from above. Take care of yourself, and those you love,each and everyday! Those we love are infinitely more precious than any possessions which we might acquire. May we remember, everyday, to let them know how much they really mean to us. May we remember, that someday rarely comes. Today is the day to let our families know that we love and honor them.