Having been away for nine days from Sophie last week on camp, it’s fair to say I was looking forward to seeing her again!

And, extra specially, that was nothing compared to her reaction to my homecoming!

There’s very little that can compete with the wonderful joy of a small child. Watching them erupt into a fit of giggles and crease their face into a beaming grin is such a beautiful sight.

Apparently my wife had engaged in many conversations with Sophie over the previous few days about Daddy coming back on Sunday, but it still hadn’t stopped her wandering round aimlessly proclaiming my name on repeat.

Upon pulling up in the van I’d borrowed for the trip, Sophie was waiting outside and she instantly bounded over to check out the view from the front seat. Having experienced a little bit of “driving” with her Grandad recently, she felt at home sitting on my lap turning the wheel. (Engine off, obviously!)

It was only an hour till Sophie’s bedtime but for the entire 60 minutes, she was running round the room, playing games, giggling and genuinely behaving like the overexcited little girl she is. She would bring me books to read with her but, because she was so giddy, there was no time to read them. Rather, I was chasing her round the lounge on my hands and knees, finding all the cubby holes and preventing her from escaping.

It was so special.

The communication I’d managed to have with her over the previous week had been limited to the sound of her voice for a couple of minutes on the phone and one extended FaceTime. She does this amazing spinning dance when she’s excited – seeing that informed me she was pleased to hear from me!

And seeing that dance in person on Sunday made  everything all the more special. She is such a blessing.