So here's the scenario: I'm away from home for a few days at our user group meeting. It's worthwhile, talking to folks and learning what they really think, getting in their heads a little. (Only a little, day-to-day caregivers are pretty different than you and me.)
But I hate being away from home. Hearing "da da" on the phone tugs at my robotic heart more than I expect. And by the last day, it's clear everyone else hates it too, because we're packed and gone from the hotel in King of Prussia less than a half hour after the meeting ends. Even the bus driver has the pedal to the metal, feeling confident he won't get another ticket to match the one he picked up on the way out.
So we get home ahead of schedule, and on hearing I'll be home earlier than expected Barb has clear joy in her voice. Traffic isn't too bad, and I pull into the driveway about a half-hour later.
The kitchen door is closed. This is unusual because normally when I come home Barb and Ella are in the kitchen and Barb leaves the door open so Ella can see me pull in and get excited. I'm a little let down but figure there's a good reason (late nap, whatever). I pull my bags from the car and make my way to the door.
I hear the click of the deadbolt, and there's Ella, naked except for a diaper. She's stomping up and down and giggling and pointing at me. I scoop her up and all is right with the world. And that's one of the best feelings ever.