Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Yes, Owen. There is a Santa Claus. Part Two.

Or this could have been titled: "The Year Owen Found Out About Santa Claus Two Days Before Christmas."

Wish list with "real sord"; made before
he discovered the Santa Secret.

He's eight years old.  Soon to be nine in February.  So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he'd figured it out.  Considering so many of his friends already knew and they've been telling him. You know.  About Santa.

Owen: "Mom.  You and Dad are Santa, right?"

Mom:  "No."

Owen: "Mom.  Really.  How can one man fly all over the world and deliver presents to everyone? I mean really.  With reindeer?"

Mom: "That's right.  That's what Santa does."

Owen: "Promise?"

Mom: (*with fingers crossed behind back*) "Yup."

Or how about the time where he comes home and says that his Muslim friend at school told him Santa wasn't real?  This is a touchy one.  So we talked with Owen and explained that Santa only visits kids who believe in him.  And since the Muslim religion doesn't believe in Santa and they don't celebrate Christmas, he doesn't visit them.  It was a good opportunity to talk about cultural and religious differences, but I can't say I was really ready for the talk just yet.  I much prefer avoidance to any subject concerning the legitimacy of Santa.

And then there's the time two days before Christmas when he comes home and says some bigger kids at lunch actually TOLD him there is no such thing as Santa Claus.  And that parents really do all the work of Santa and put the presents out under the tree.

It was time to break out the big guns.  So, I of course turned the entire case over to the fab hubby.  And ran out of the room to console myself with a latte.

Abby's is a bit harder to read because she always uses
pencil and writes lightly.  But Hello Kitty is her fav, always.
And Jason, in his usual awesome dad-style, patiently talked with Owen about Saint Nicolas, and what it meant to give at Christmas.  About how we, as parents, continue on the legacy and spirit of giving that St. Nick gave so selflessly.  And now that Owen knew the Santa Claus Secret, it was his turn to help with Christmas giving.

But Owen wasn't quite ready to stop believing.  He wanted Santa to be real.  He really wanted there to be a Santa that wasn't his parents.  A North Pole with elves and reindeer and a sleigh.  He wanted NORAD's Santa sightings to be a real tracking device and not just a story that adults made up.

My heart ached.  It's hard watching him grow up sometimes.  And maybe, just maybe, I'm not ready for him to know the truth either.

He was so close to finding out the truth last year (remember this Christmas close-call?).  Owen has been on the cusp of discovery of the Santa Secret for so long.

So maybe unfairly we told him too soon.  Part of me was really worried he was going to blab to Abby about it and part of me felt like he was so close to figuring it out on his own that I thought he should know the truth.

But after we told him the truth, his downtrodden little face told me otherwise.  He wasn't ready.

Christmas morning came, and the kids discovered all of the gifties Santa had left them.  Owen got two foam swords (obviously parent-approved) for fighting and a real bow with arrows.  He was delighted.  Abby found a backpack she'd asked for from Santa in her school letter [special thanks goes out to the kids' school for setting us up on that one - we only knew she'd asked for it because she mentioned they were writing letters to Santa in class. Try finding a princess backpack in Cairo three days before Christmas], along with a Hello Kitty lego set.  And her happiest moment was finding a Santa Hat with a sewn-on Hello Kitty bow that had broken off a headband she loved.  She was convinced that Santa had sewed it on his hat for her and left it so she wouldn't be sad.  And Kellen found a little push bike he could scoot around on.  All were happy.

And then Owen found something under the tree he didn't at all expect to get, despite the fact that he had put it on his Christmas wish list.  Since he knew the Santa Secret and he KNEW his parents would NEVER get him a real sword, he had figured he simply wouldn't get a real sword for Christmas.  If Santa wasn't real then there was no way he'd get the sword he so very much wanted.

But under the tree was a REAL SWORD!  And a real knife, too!

Nope, Mom and Dad would NEVER get him those kind of gifts.  I saw it in his eyes.  The questioning look.  The 'how did this get here?'

When Abby left the room, I said "I totally don't think you should have given Owen a sword" to the fab hubby.  And the fab hubby said, "well, I didn't get it for him!  Why did you?"

And Owen looked at both of us and said, "You didn't get this for me?! This means..."

And then both the fab hubby and I said (with a convincing sigh): "Santa."

One more year.  He needs it, he deserves it, I even think he wants it.  And maybe, so do I.

Because I'm not ready for my little guy to grow up just yet, either.

First time Mom ever let him near the tree!

Awesome siblings.  Kellen got a ton of Fisher Price
Little People from his grandparents.
And the big kids were happy to play with him!

Best sister. Ever.

I had Owen pose with his sword tonight.
He looks so serious.
I love it.


  1. I think our kids may have figured it out, but we just say that it's ok to believe as long as you want to believe, and haven't discussed it exactly. I know what you mean! I love the photos...and that's an awesome sword! :) I love the lists too!

  2. "He'll poke his eye out." Just kidding and quoting "A Christmas Story." Owen's story reminds of that movie, just with a sword instead of a BB gun. I'm glad Santa made his wish come true.

  3. That's just so awesome...love it!