MountainWings - The Daily Inspirational E-Mail
#1137 Wings Over The Mountains of Life

The Wooden Bowl

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 step faltered. 

The family ate together at the table but the elderly 
grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating 
difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.

When he grasped the glass, 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 

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family 
enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, 
his food was served in a wooden bowl. 

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction sometimes he 
had a tear in his 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 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 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 are remarkably perceptive. 

Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, 
and their minds ever process the messages they absorb.

If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere, 
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 the child's future. 

Let's be wise builders and role models.

Author Unknown

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