The Big Homecoming

Everybody has a “most important thing we do all day” thing. Even I have one ... and I’m just a kid!

The Big Homecoming
Written from the perspective of a 4 year old

The Big Homecoming

Everybody has a “most important thing we do all day” thing. Even I have one ... and I’m just a kid!

By Noel Kathryn

I’m sitting on the top step. I can feel the cold concrete right through my shorts. I still have three more minutes, Grandma said.

I pick up my favorite pointed rock. If you press hard, it’ll draw white marks on the dark concrete. I slowly draw the round part to make a smiley face. Aw! I always make the eyes too big. Now the smile won’t fit right. I throw the rock in the corner of the porch. Grandma would yell if she saw me playing with dirty rocks on the porch. I just got all washed up for dinner.

I look at my hands. They don’t look dirty to me, but then they hardly ever look dirty to me, and Grandma still makes me wash ‘em. She says germs will make me have a disease if I don’t wash with soap. I think Grandma likes to tell stories just to get you to do things you don’t feel like. I look at my clean hands again, but this time I’m not so sure. I wipe ‘em off real good on my shirt, just in case. After all, Grandma is a nurse. She has special eyes to see germs.

Has it been three minutes yet?

I stand up and lean way over the railing — since I’m pretty fearless, this doesn’t scare me — and I look my farthest down the street. It’s really far down. Two alleys and three streets before you get to the end. But I look my farthest, trying to see the speck. That’s what he looks like when he’s way down there. I can’t see him yet.

I close my eyes and count to seven. I open them and look for the speck. Nope, not yet. I close my eyes and count to seven again, but slower this time. Has it been three minutes yet? The minute I say “seven,” I open my eyes and try to see the speck. There are some people on the sidewalk in the way. Dumb people! How’s a person supposed to see? As if they could read my mind ... they can’t though, right? ...They cross the street. He’s there! The speck is coming!

I jump up and down, but I don’t leave the steps. Not yet, gotta plan it just right. There’s that feeling in my tummy, like when you’re in the car and you go over a little hill real fast. I’m so ‘xcited!

I don’t take my eyes off the speck. It keeps getting bigger. Pretty soon it’s not a speck, but a real person, with walking legs and moving arms and his tie flying around his neck like it’s trying to peek behind him.

I jump to the bottom step. But I still have to wait. Gotta plan it just right. He passed one alley and two streets. Now you can see his eyes and nose and mouth. He’s smiling. I think he can see me too. Come on, come on. He’s gotta pass one more street. I’m allowed to cross alleys, if I look both ways, but I’m not allowed to cross streets. ‘Specially not the big one, where there’s not even a stop sign.

Gotta plan it just right. If I run right now, then I have to stop at the corner and wait ‘till he gets there. That’s no good. Gotta have speed. Gotta be running.

Finally he crosses the big street. He looked both ways. I checked. I take off running. I can run pretty fast. I jump over the cracks. Don’t wanna break my mom’s back. ‘Cause I’m running, it’s hard to keep my eyes on him, but I try my hardest.

I got my best smile on.

Run. Run. Run. If you move your arms back and forth, it makes you run faster. So I do it. He’s closer and closer.

I’m getting out of breath, but that’s okay. When I get really close, he opens his arms and bends down a little. Here’s the important part. Gotta plan it just right. I run and jump and -- right at the same time -- he grabs me and holds me high over his head.

Now it feels like slow motion. Just like TV. I have that neat feeling in my tummy again. It tickles and I giggle so hard. I’m way high, and I look down at him. His big brown eyes are laughing and crying at the same time, ‘cept I know he’s happy to see me. He smiles so wide, I can see just about every tooth. I hear a loud roar kind of sound, but then I figure out that it’s him laughing.

He lowers me down some and gives me his best bear hug, and I give him my best bear hug back, ‘cept all I can reach is around his neck, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

He smells so good, his special smell. Kind of like the Brut that me and Grandma gave him for Christmas and cigarettes and just his own special smell all mixed together. I love that smell.

His whiskers scratch my face a little when I kiss him on the cheek. But that’s okay.

He puts me down and I reach up to hold his hand, and we walk down the street together. His hand is big and warm and gentle, like how you could just imagine Santa’s hand would be. We swing our hands back and forth.

I tell him everything me and Grandma did all day. I tell him real fast and real loud, kind of ‘cause I’m excited to see him, and kind of ‘cause I know he wants to know it all too. When I talk he laughs, the kind of laugh as when you heard the happiest story in the history of time. All over again, I decide he’s the greatest man in the world.

And I know, we’ll do the same thing over again when Grandpa comes home tomorrow.

Noel Kathryn
Noel Kathryn
Read next: Allie on the Sand
Noel Kathryn

Fabulous career, but my journey was cut short by MS. Owned huge homes. Been homeless.Once self-made, now disability is how I roll.

Grew up Jewish and my name MEANS Christmas. I am a dichotomy!

I'm a delight. What more do you need to know?

See all posts by Noel Kathryn