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We Need Some More Bowls!

By Joey Havens

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Broken yellow cup on the floor.

CeCe and I have just completed a day-long fly fishing adventure on the Tom Miner Creek, which is part of the Hubbard Yellowstone Lodge properties. Tough and very tight fishing with lots of brush, where we learned the bow and arrow cast from our guide Eric. It’s amazing what you can do with a fly rod in tight quarters. We didn’t land a lot of fish today but we had a delightful time. The biggest thing we netted today was a beautiful story from Eric about his son when he was three years old.

Eric was up early the morning of this story, secluded in a corner of the den where he could focus on a big work project. He was deep in thought when he heard the kitchen door squeak just a little as someone had come into the kitchen next to the den. Wow, that’s early, he thought. Maybe it’s one of the older sisters and they will ease back to bed so I can finish this.

Then he hears a scratching noise as someone is pulling a chair across the floor. After a moment of silence, he hears a loud crash, in which he immediately moves his stuff aside and begins to rise from his seat. Crash, bang, crash!!! More crashes and then suddenly, a volley of crashes almost like firecrackers going off.

Rushing to the kitchen and worried something terrible has happened, he slings the kitchen door open to see his three-year-old son standing in a chair with the cabinet doors open. A disaster lays all around him as broken plates and bowls are everywhere.

He feels his anger rising and he sees the fear in his son’s face as his eyes get wider and wider as he stares at his Dad. Five seconds — which must have felt like a hundred years to that little boy — without a word. Then the little boys says, “Dad, we’re going to need some more bowls!” Silence as Eric takes this in, controls his anger and realizes his son is so right — we can buy more bowls. Everyone is okay and a life lesson is learned both for him and me. Grinning now, Eric responds back, “Yes, son, we do need some more bowls. What do you want for breakfast?”

What a beautiful story! How often do we make things bigger than they are, missing the joy of the moment? How often do we focus so much on being right, that we destroy trust and a relationship?

This is a huge area of growth for me and thanks to Eric, I have already used this analogy more than once. We just need some more bowls! Try it, I bet you will grow as a leader, parent, spouse, brother, sister and/or friend. Let’s just get some new bowls and try again!