Filling your bucket with love

My husband, Patrick, and I took our two grandsons, Cameron and Maxwell, to Tim Horton’s last weekend. They wanted a donut, and since we are under no obligation to deny them anything their hearts desire, we obliged.

After they devoured their donuts, I felt eyes boring into me while I ate my breakfast. Soon there was a unified chorus repeating the word, “Bacon!” I quieted them when I gave them the rest of my sandwich, but when the chanting resumed, I went to the counter to buy another one. With extra bacon.

While I was waiting for the order, I became aware of a ruckus at our table and saw Patrick and the boys with hands full of napkins. The plates on the table were floating in an ocean of dark roast coffee; it spewed onto the floor and into my empty chair. I didn’t hear any screams, so I assumed no one suffered third-degree burns.

Despite no injuries, there was a tragedy. It was my coffee cup that toppled.

The polite young man at the register tuned in to my pained expression and gave me a replacement. By the time I rejoined Patrick and the boys, they had most of the mess sopped up.

Cameron related the story of what happened. He said, “Somehow the coffee fell over, and the top came off.” He ended with, “It wasn’t my fault. It was the coffee’s fault.”

I laughed and reassured him that I wasn’t upset. Then I told him a story about something that happened when his Dad was a little boy.

“We went to Dunkin’ Donuts, and on the way to our table, I upended our tray, spilling our drinks and ruining our food. Embarrassed, I said, ‘I am so sorry I did that. It was a dumb move.’ Your Dad looked at me and said, ‘But Mommy, it wasn’t your fault. It was an accident.’’’

Cameron said, “Grandma, Daddy filled your bucket that day.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, everyone has a bucket inside them, and when someone says or does something nice, it fills your bucket. And Daddy did that for you.”

I agreed he had done that very thing.

Later that day Maxwell spilled his apple juice. I felt some irritation knowing what it would take to remove the sticky residue from the boy, chair, and floor. But when I looked at his innocent face searching for my reaction, all I saw was a heart shaped bucket. And I smiled and said, “It wasn’t your fault, sweetheart. It was an accident.”

How has someone filled your bucket? And how have you filled theirs?

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55 thoughts on “Filling your bucket with love

  1. Awww. How absolutely adorable. Those little boys are learning how families and kindness works. I love the idea of filling the bucket. I’m going to use that with Tornado Boy. I can tell that they fill your bucket up too, Molly. <3

  2. Out of the mouths of babes. Wonderful post Molly. Though we don’t have children I do enjoy them when we have the opportunity to do so. Our nephew was told not to talk over me while I was chatting to his father. Within seconds he replied “Dad I wasn’t talking over Aunty, my voice went under the table and up to her”. He was 3 years old. 🙂

  3. Awww. That’s a beautiful and heartwarming vignette, Molly. I absolutely love it. Thanks for the early Valentines’ gift. (Bet you didn’t know you were giving me something for Valentines Day 🙂 )

  4. How delightful is this post? Delightful enough to keep me smiling all day. I love your grandson’s explanation of how to have a bucket full of love. My bucket is overflowing every day. But your story reminded me how, as a child, I seemed to always spill my milk. My mother got irritated with me each time. But seriously, it wasn’t my fault. I thought even as a child it was some kind of freaky energy kind of thing, and the milk just enjoyed spilling itself!
    Well, three decades later I had a son, and as soon as he was able to drink his own glass of milk, he began to spill it at every meal. What did I do? I just laughed, because again, it was the energy of the milk, not my son’s fault. I guess because of that attitude, the energy calmed down, and no more spelt milk. 🙏🤓

    • I love this story of you and your generations of milk spillers, Pam. It is a freaky energy kind of thing, isn’t it? I’m so glad they make sippy cups for adults now. They call them ‘water bottles’ but I know the truth. My aging parents started spilling their drinks at every meal and my mother bought ‘heavy bottomed glasses’ to solve the problem. I have heavy bottomed glasses now in memory of them. 😘

  5. As someone who hates “bucket lists” and is frequently turned off any post with “bucket” in the title, how refreshing and positive to see the word used so inspiringlyl! I now have one and only thing to put on my bucket list Molly!

    • This must be a universal elementary school concept that is taught, Crystal. When I asked Cameron where he learned about it he said, “Ah, Grandma. I go the school now.” He didn’t add ‘Duh’ but it was implied. Haha!

    • Thank you, Amy. Being around those boys a full cup was risky business. Haha! So it is a safer bet to use a bucket. Come to think of it there are days when I could drink my coffee out of a bucket, too. Like this morning awakening to a fresh blanket of several inches of snow! Did you say you have a spare bedroom in Phoenix?

    • Such a good point – particularly about filling our own bucket, too. Too often I try to fill other people’s buckets but overlook my own. Love is the answer to a happier life, don’t you think?

  6. Why isn’t there a “love” button for this one? Out of the mouths of babes, huh? Sweet and profound lesson, my friend! <3

  7. Your grandsons are very sweet! One of my girls’ favorite books when they were at Montessorri preschool was Have You Filled a Bucket Today?. Maybe your grandsons have read it too. It’s a great lesson for all of us!

    • I bet they did read that book, Molly. They have both attended Montessori school. They are sweet and they teach me a lot. Thank you so much for stopping by today. You have been in my thoughts a lot.

  8. Love this! Gonna remember and use this story about “filling up your bucket.” And, yes, far be it from us as grandparents to deny our grandkids anything!!

    • Exactly! I’ve been picking the wee ones up from school and Montessori and so far they are two for two in having Grandma buy them ‘stuffies.’ They won’t want them much longer, and it’s as fun for me as it is for them. And they indeed fill my bucket over and over with their love and antics. ❤️

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