An elderly man with a disability moved in with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his vision blurred, and he moved slowly.
The family ate together at the dinner table. However, the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing vision made eating difficult. Peas fell off his spoon and onto the floor. When he grabbed the glass, the milk frequently spilled onto the tablecloth.
The mess irritated the son and daughter-in-law. “We need to do something about Grandpa,” said the son. I’m sick of his spilled milk, loud eating, and food on the floor. As a result, the couple placed a small table in the corner.
While the rest of the family ate dinner, the grandfather ate alone at the dinner table. My grandfather’s food was served in a wooden bowl because he had broken a few dishes. Sometimes the grandfather cried as he ate alone, and other times when the family looked in his direction.
Even so, when he dropped a fork or spilled food, the couple’s only words for him were sharp admonitions. The four-year-old sat motionless, staring at everything.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. “What are you making?” he inquired of the youngster. “Oh, I am making the bowl for you and mama to eat,” the boy replied sweetly.
The four-year-old returned to his work with a smile.
Because the words had struck them, the parents were speechless. The tears began to fall down their cheeks. Despite the fact that no words were exchanged, both knew what had to be done. That evening, the husband gently led his grandfather back to the family table. For the rest of his life, he ate every meal with his family. For some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to mind if a fork fell, milk spilled, or the tablecloth became soiled.
Children have exceptional perceptions. Their eyes are constantly observing, their ears are constantly listening, and their minds are constantly processing the messages they receive.
If they see us patiently providing a happy home environment for family members, they will imitate our attitude for the rest of their lives. Every day, the aware parent sees the foundation for their child’s future is laid. This enables us to identify builders and role models.
Take care of yourself and those you love today and every day! Your parents, in particular, are the most valuable gift.