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If you think we have our hands full, you should see our hearts

By:  Angie Gambill


If you think we have our hands full, you should see our hearts.
Yes, our lives and schedules are always busy since we adopted our twins a couple years ago. And, yes, there are days that I feel my age is more befitting grandparent than parent to active four-year-olds. Admittedly, an after-work nap would be heavenly after a long day at the office, and sitting down to an evening of “Law and Order SVU” is more my speed than another episode of “Paw Patrol.”

Would I exchange my life for something more “normal?”
Not for one second.
The fireplace hearth in the Gambill living room has become center stage for “Frozen” solos, “Awesome God” duets and even trios of “Oh My Soul” when our grandson joins in. (Did I mention our three grandchildren live next door?)
Fire pokers make perfect microphones and brooms are ideal guitars. The dance floor is always open for those times when the music takes hold and makes little feet start moving.
Wild bucking bulls are regularly corralled in the chute between the coffee table and couch, and they kick up quite a ruckus as they throw brave cowboys to the floor.

It’s a real no-no for the audience to let their attention be diverted to ringing telephones or adult conversation in the room. One must always be ready to cheer the rider as he gets to his feet tipping his hat and waving to the crowd. Occasionally, a grown-up’s help is needed to adjust chaps, boots and bandanas when the thrown cowboy becomes the bull.

My carefully planted and tended blue irises on the creek bank have long since given way to little fishermen, dam builders and water fights. What good is running water in the yard if you don’t make use of it? None of our periwinkles, crawdads or lizards will ever grow fat and lazy from boredom.

Regular poking and prodding are the price paid for residing in Gambill waters. I often laugh out loud as I imagine the warning cry that goes up from the creek critters on the kids’ approach.

And that big swing that folds down to make a soft and comfy bed? The one with the awning to shield me from the hot evening sun when it sinks low in the sky and peeps under the maple branches overhead? That haven from the cold world where I drift off to the sound of the gently bubbling brook beside me? It’s gone.

Well, perhaps “gone” is a harsh word. The frame and cushions are still there. Perhaps “repurposed” is a more accurate portrayal. It is now home to three soggy tennis shoes, one broken flip-flop, five muddy socks, one sippy cup, three fish hooks, a red plastic cup filled with black dirt and fish worms. And lest I forget, a crawdad claw. A treasure chest – yes, that’s what my swing has become.

My once white shirt now has orange splotches of Chef BoyArDee spaghetti and meatballs, but at least it’s not so plain now; it was really screaming for a little character. The giant “AU” that is scrawled in black ink on my new, green percale pillowcase is proof positive that my little girl is learning to write her name; I believe my faux pearl choker actually looks better as a headband on Mickey Mouse; it was getting too tight on my neck any way. And the water fountain on the back porch was due a cleaning with a half bottle of Dawn dish detergent.
Would I exchange my life for something more “normal?”
Not for one second.

If you think we have our hands full, you should see our hearts. They are overflowing with the love and blessings our children heap on us every minute of our lives.