Wednesday, October 17, 2012

filling up the bucket

a few days ago, my one and only girl was home sick from her first grade class. as i was trying to rush her and her brother to get dressed so we could head to the doctor, she kept asking for me to "hold on" for just a minute more. i could see she was coloring something and was busy getting the two little boys ready to head out the door so i gave her a couple of extra moments. as i was about to get after her again, she ran over, put a paper on the counter and then ran up to her room to get her clothes on. 

i was so busy getting everyone in the car that i didn't take the time to look at what she had drawn. after snapping everyone in, i ran back inside to grab some food for the baby and stopped on my way back outside. the paper i found was addressed to me. as i opened it, this is what i found inside.

my heart melted. i walked back outside, got her attention in the car and told her how much i loved her note. i told her how much i loved her and that the words she had written made my day. she looked at me and her face lit up. she then said something that i had to process for a minute. with a big smile on her face she said, "i'm filling up your bucket."

now, i'm the first to admit genius when i see or hear it and this was child rearing genius. apparently the school psychologist had been into her classroom. using the bucket analogy, she talked about how kind words fill up a person's heart bucket. in the same way, unkind words dump people's bucket out. the word picture resonated with my six year old and so she has been working to "fill up my bucket."

i've heard other people use the same concept saying that kind words and actions and quick obedience gives mommies energy while the opposite makes mommy energy run out. i've seen this work but i personally love the bucket. it is ageless, goes beyond childhood, fits every walk of life and every human interaction. from this moment on, every person my kids encounter will be seen as someone with a bucket that can be filled. my goal is to try to teach them ways to fill those buckets no matter who the person may be.

so, thank you, school psychologist, for your simple brilliance. i will take your idea, steal it and make it my own. and today, i will read this card again and walk around with a very full bucket.

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