Seems as if I have been spending a lot of time at "the maul" as of late. Really odd, particularly since I loathe "the maul".
However the night the family photographs were taken, I insisted on a "night off" from cooking. I had a hankering' for Chinese food. Very hard to find GOOD Chinese food in these parts, the best place is seriously a restaurant at the mall. Dear Husband caved, and we drove to "the maul". (Note***we are in our matching black sweaters, we just had on for family photo**)
When we walked in I happened to notice they had "Santa Land", ready. I figured it was way to early for Santa to be visiting, but thought, what the heck, if he is here.....The kids need to see him. Plus, they are dressed for pictures with the fat man anyway. I have been threatening the children with Santa for like a month now. I remind them about every 2 hours that he is watching, and he leaves coal in shoes if they are naughty. Dash checks his shoes almost every morning. No coal yet, but I have been tempted. So I send Dear Husband to do recon on the whole matter...yep Santa is here.
So we sit down to eat, in our matching outfits. The toddlers are eating and we are starved, everyone is quiet. The usual rice all over the floor, because both Pink and Dash insist on chopsticks. Meal ends, and we are off to "Santa Land".
Understand here, that Dash has always been afraid of Santa. I have never pushed the issue, so I was really unsure how he would react. Especially since I have been using Santa as a weapon. Also understand, that THIS CHRISTMAS is a real big deal for us. The last 5 Christmas's have not been the best, deployments, family illness, and deaths....They have been long and hard. We are staying here in OUR HOME this year. We need to have Christmas as a family, in our home. I do not want to board a plane, and live out of a suitcase. I want to be home. Where my children can wake in the morning and open gifts and make sure the cookies, and carrots are gone.
So we head over to see Santa, and I see a glimpse of his red suit, and white cuffs. Dash runs to Santa, and climbs right up on his lap. He pulls out his Christmas list (that is on the back of the placemat from the Chinese restaurant, it is full of scribbles.) We get the photo taken, and by the looks of things, I can tell Dash has no plans of leaving Santa's lap. Dash is animated,and using his hands, serious mostly. I am watching Dash with Santa, and I have tears behind my eyes, and I am blinking to keep them there. No one would understand what the tears are about.
I walk up to Santa, and Dash, and interrupt this important conversation, and I make sure to tell Dash "Dash, don't forget to tell Santa we are leaving him a treat." Santa says "This is one sharp kid, he told me about the snacks for me and my friends already. I also know your address, and how to get in the house, where the fireplace is...."
Before climbing off of his lap he gets a small candy cane for being such a good boy, Dash asks for one for his little Sister too.
Pink Ninja wanted nothing to do with the man, maybe next time. Sometimes she is a hard sell.
So we walk away in our matching sweaters and I have tears in my eyes, and Dash is talking and talking about Santa, and holding onto my hand, I look up and Pink Ninja is on her Daddy's shoulders. I got the feeling that everything will be alright this year.