Every morning for some 15 years, my wife, two daughters and I got into the car to go to school, where my wife and I were teachers and the kids were students. Then we drove home at the end of the day and walked into the house together. That meant I didn’t get that experience of returning home from the "office" and have my kids run down the hall shouting "Daddy's home!"and leaping into my open arms. (And it goes without saying that my wife missed out on this also).
But I did my share of weekend traveling and that's when I enjoyed the marvelous enthusiasm of young children running with such glee to greet me, that exuberant no-holds barred joy that makes you feel that all the diapers and tantrums and less sleep was worth it. If this was payback for all the trials of young parenting, it was a pretty good deal!
And now it’s back again! Zadie and Malik greeting me at the airport by running full speed shouting "Pop-Pop!" And again when I arrived from my Air B&B to their house the next morning. The next day, when I visited at their school and there came Zadie, running clear across the playground! One minute later, they may be busily playing by themselves or mad you won’t give them ice cream before dinner, but that “run at first sight” explosion that a 3 and 7-year-old offer is a gift beyond my daily experience. I mean, let’s face it, no matter how good your relationship with your boss or colleagues, chances are they don’t run to greet you each day. And even your best childhood friend who you haven’t seen in 10 years will maintain their hard-earned adult decorum and walk casually up to give you a high five or cursory hug.
So while the grandchildren are still fresh and innocent, before they know enough about me that they might someday see me and run the other way, I plan to enjoy every moment of the Run and Greet. It's a good feeling.