I arrive home and enter through the garage. The door to the garage is at the opposite end of the house where TheMonk and Swee’Pea are playing with Mommy so they don’t hear me come in. Mommy hears me though and I can hear her ask Swee’Pea and TheMonk “Who’s home?” I approach their end of the house while I drop my belongings on the floor so I can greet them.
Suddenly, I see TheMonk poke his head around the corner. His eyes meet mine and he breaks out into a big smile. “Daddy!” he says with his characteristic understated smile. Soon, Swee’Pea appears and she shouts out with her characteristic energy, “DADDY!!”
I smile and say my hellos as I undo the baby gate to let myself in. I crouch down to give them both hugs and kisses. I pick up TheMonk and kiss his soft, chubby cheeks. Then, suddenly, I throw TheMonk high into the air. He loves this and shrieks with glee. His joy is contagious so I continue to throw him into the air. Finally, Swee’Pea decides she wants in on the action. She approaches so I set TheMonk down and pick up Swee’Pea.
I throw Swee’Pea up into the air and she laughs out loud. She loves it too but I can tell that she’s not going to want as many tosses as TheMonk. After a few tosses I sense that the timing is right to stop. I catch her and pull her close in a large embrace. She wraps her little arms around my neck and tightly squeezes while resting her head on my left shoulder.
The hug feels wonderful and I return the hug with gentle firmness. I keep waiting for the hug to end but Swee’Pea is not ready. She continues to squeeze my neck with her little arms and I take a moment to burn this feeling into my brain. I know that someday she won’t want to hug her Daddy like she is right now. I feel so special with this little one hugging me – an expression of love and trust that no one else outside of her Mommy gets.
Finally, she lets go and I let her down onto the floor with one last kiss on her face. I watch her walk away and I can’t help but think how great it is being a father.
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