I almost started crying right there in the lobby.
Not because it was a beautiful sight, which it was, but because I realized I'd never experienced that very thing. My child has never run into my arms, never been thrilled to see me. It hurt, so I looked away.
It wasn't until later that night when I realized I have had that same experience. It may not look the same, but I do know what it's like for my child to get excited when he's reunited with me after a short separation.
Whenever I pick Elijah up from preschool, I watch as he walks down the hallway with his teacher or teacher's aide. He happily stomps his feet on the floor and distractedly looks around as the teacher tries to steer him to me.
I crouch down and when we're close enough that our faces are almost touching, Elijah recognizes who I am and makes his excited noise (which sounds like the noise you'd make if you were about to get into a car accident - an inhaling Huuuuuuh sound). Then he places his head on my shoulder for his version of a hug.
Then there was one morning last week - I didn't want to get out of bed so Andy brought Elijah into our room and placed him in my arms. He made his same "Huuuuuh" excited sound, kissed me on my cheek and gave me the biggest hug. Unsolicited affection from our boy is rare, so I drink it in. The kid was excited to see me, which was all the caffeine I needed.
So, no, my child has never run expectantly into my arms, but I do know the pleasure of our own reunion. Turns out, it's just as sweet.