The wheels of my two suitcases call out a rhythmic cadence as we pull them across the cement tiled walking path. In my head I can hear Andrew calling out his countdown to "our house" by inspecting each of those preceding in the row with a cheerful "Is that my house? No." as we walk past. I have loved every minute of my 4 days away but the excitement of being home is mounting with each step as Don and I approach our front garden. Having already lingered in the arms of this man-I-am-crazy-about at the airport reunion I am looking forward to throwing my arms around those kids-who-make-me-crazy when I step in the door.
At our arrival home, Andrew looks up through the large front window (which desperately needs cleaning) and through the glass I can hear him inhale sharply, then see him grin broadly. He calls out "Are you home Mama? Did you get back from Boston?" I smile at him and shout "I'm home" which he answers with an exuberant jumping celebration while pumping fists in the air and shouting "YEAH!". I practically trip over myself as I push open the front door and pull my suitcase in behind me.
I am not even through the front hall when my independent 14-year-old Ian has me in a lock-grip hug. It's a stellar moment with my oldest boy. Then Emma peeks her head around the door frame and with a grin, a kiss and a hug welcomes me home too. My Andrew surveys all the hugging, the greetings, the plethora of luggage I have hauled home from the United States (without much concept of what it may contain in the way of pop-tarts, peanut butter, and cheez-its) and then looks at me and says "You're home Mama!"
Only a few minutes later the five of us congregate in the living room (loot distribution will soon begin) to visit about our collective time away from each other. It's a great family moment. Kind of one of those that you wish you had every time you were all in the same room together.
Andrew pats my leg to get my attention and then with a definitive move to cross both his arms and his legs, he shakes his head back and forth slightly as if in wonderment and awe over the moment too and says "I am just so happy that you are home, Mom."
Home is such a great feeling.
P.S. Don't miss this photo at 1 Picture a Day. You may just recognize someone... and the feeling she is describing here.