"There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day, knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps." Ronald Regan
I saw that quote on Facebook yesterday, and it took me back to my childhood. Even into my teenage years, my father coming home from work was always a happily anticipated part of the day. Eating dinner together as a family was a high priority in our household, and it was a secure feeling, knowing that we were all safe under the same roof for at least that hour or so each day. It was something I could depend on most days.
When my sisters and I were little, we would hide on him when we heard the closing of his car door. It was a delightful suspense that made me nervous every time as he pretended to search high and low for his girls. I knew that sometimes he would be the one to say, "Boo!" to me, and that it would startle the daylights out of me, despite the fact that I was anticipating it.
One time, I read this book where the daughter left her shoes pointed in the direction of her hiding place, so when her dad arrived home, he had a clue as to where she was. I thought that sounded cool, so I did the same thing that very day, placing my shoes where he wouldn't be able to miss them. Imagine my disappointment when Dad stepped over my shoes and started looking in another part of the house! I guess I sort of forgot that he wasn't in on the rules of the game and would just think I hadn't put my shoes away. :)
These days, it's Little Mister who exclaims excitedly when he hears that car door slam. Sometimes he hides on his daddy, but most times he just greets him enthusiastically at the door. I still love that time of day, though the roles have shifted, and now I'm welcoming my husband home (I only hide on him if Little Mister asks me to--lol) and enjoying watching my son delight in his daddy's homecoming.
We all make the effort to welcome non-residents of our home when they visit. Why not welcome the other members of our household when they arrive home? Whether it be family members or roommates, everyone likes to feel welcome in their own home. When someone comes home and we are already there, why not stop the task at hand (or mute the TV! ha ha) long enough to smile and greet that person and find out how they are. "How was your day?" is an often-asked question in our home. It's an invitation to share the highs and the lows of each other's day and offer encouragement or laugh together.
If you live alone, prepare your home to welcome you at the end of the day! Before you leave, make sure some favorite music is ready in the CD player. Get something yummy-smelling going in the crockpot. Plan who you can call or visit with later on, if you think you'll want some company.
"Welcome" is such a lovely word. :)