Have your children ever read the book
Have You Filled A Bucket? by Carol McCloud and David Messing
Mine have read it a lot over the last year. You know that thing where you read a book repeatedly and are never really sure if your child is internalizing the message. Yeah that. It’s easy to wonder if your words fall on deaf ears sometimes. Well apparently mine are listening. That makes me 9,000 shades of proud. See, this is our neighborhood, today. It was and, still is, a crazed windy gale force kind of epic weather day. Naturally it was also recycling day today and so everyone put their tidy little blue boxes out and waited for pickup.
My husband did ours. He has learned to weight the papers down on windy days.
Anyways, at some point today when I was working at home I looked up and down the road and saw that it was snowing. Then again the snow was only on two yards. (When I looked a bit closer I realized: A. I need to see the eye doctor again. B. Someone shreds their papers and lo and behold today they are all over two lawns and the road.) I might have chuckled at the poor sucker across the road who did that. We learned our lesson the day I had to run up and down the road gathering our newspapers.
Ah well, I thought. In fact I am certain I even thought to myself. Thanks Goodness it’s not our house this time. I continued on my daily business. Eventually the time came to pick my kids up from school and we spied this on the way home.
Epic overturned trampoline!
Then I drove them by the snowy yards that I thought looked kind of oddly poetic. Yup, I think like that. Images and metaphors are my business.
I thought my kids might chuckle, or they night think wow that is kind of magical in April looking down the street and spying shredded paper that looks like snow. Nope. One was like” Um, yeah cool Mom, where’s my after school snack?” But the other, the little one, the one who blows me away frequently because she is a Fighter Extraordinaire, well she wasn’t about to let this pass. From the moment she was born to the days she spent in hospital because she was not well at birth. From the second she arrived in our home, tiny foster baby we hoped to adopt, to the months she spent trying to walk. From the school struggles I have chronicled here and here to the sweet moment this weekend when I overheard her speaking French, reading a book beautifully to her friend, a lovely little girl having a sleepover. My girl is a fighter and she has a heart big enough to hold the world. So when she walked over to the cleaning closet and grabbed a garbage bag and asked me to come with her across the street, I tried madly to come up with some excuse, (It was cold and windy. I hate cold. Maybe the recycling guys will clean it up I told her and then we watched them hop off their truck and dump the contents of bins and ignore the detritus floating about the street) But I knew there was no way I was going to win this one and frankly it was a life lesson. Never mind it was her, my beautiful brown eyed tornado girl teaching me and not vice versa.
As I stalled for time, she told me. Mom it was earth day yesterday and we need to clean it up!
Can’t argue with that.
So down the street we went to clean other people’s yards for 45 minutes as people drove by. I was starting to think that picking up the individual streamers of paper wasn’t making much difference when she looked at me and said: “Mom, I’m filling my bucket.”
And this, my dear readers, is how I know that the earth and all its creatures will be okay. In the long run, it will all be fine. Because, as much as you and I, and the generations before us screwed up and looked the other way, this generation, these spectacular kids, our tiny warriors are filling their buckets.