We used to have a big white cat. Every day when I got home from work he would come to the door to greet me and 'stripe' me (as big, white, shedding cats are prone to do as they rub past your leg). Eventually he got old and difficult to care for, and a few months after the Bear was born, Momma Bear said it was time for him to go. I protested, and amongst other things used this daily greeting as an example (one among many) of something that I would really miss. Momma Bear promised that soon enough the Bear would be greeting me at the door, and that this would also make my day. So off went the cat - to the outlaws, where he lived quite happily for another year or so - and I waited for the day when the Bear would start coming to the door to greet me.
But the Bear, despite being very affectionate with me at other times, never came. She will often give a big smile, and sometimes get up to greet me after IBI, where she's waiting on the couch by the door when I come in. This alone is special - the couch there is a big comfy magnet for her, and she doesn't willingly jump off of it for just anyone - but she never did this at home.
Yesterday I got home from work as usual. Normally I go in, and after getting stuff put away and settled I go and find the Bear and spend some time with her. Not yesterday though.
After bringing in the groceries I started taking my boots off, and Momma Bear called out, as she sometimes does, "[Bear], Daddy's home! Daddy's at the front door." I heard the Bear bouncing on the mini-trampoline (she loves to bounce on it on her butt) in the living room (yes, living room - where do you keep your mini-trampoline?), but then the noise stopped, and I heard the pitter patter of tiny footsteps down the hall. The Bear peeked round the corner, looked at me, gave me a big smile and quickly came over to greet me. I went down on one knee, and she came over and sat on my lap and leaned into me (a 'Bear' hug). This was the first time that she had ever come to greet me at the front door.
I told her how nice it was that she came to see me, thanked her, told her I loved her and missed her all afternoon (I do the shuttle between IBI and Junior Kindergarten, so I see her at lunch), and picked her up for a big hug and a spin. Daddy is a big amusement park full of assorted rides and spins, and the Bear loves all of them.
Hopefully she will come to the door to greet me again soon. But regardless, this first was special, and easily the best greeting I've ever had. I still sometimes miss the cat, but I now have the prospect of other special welcomes to look forward to.