Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Picnic

Tiny Village is about 11 miles from Town. Most of Daughter’s friends live in Town, many of them in group homes or other supported living situations. The vast majority of them don’t drive. Daughter wants to have a cook-out, and invite all of her friends. Several years ago I informed Daughter that I would not pick up her friends, bring them here for a party, host the party, and take them home after the party.

Daughter’s best friend is a young woman about Daughter’s age who was adopted as an older child. B has not healed as well as Daughter has, and is often controlling and even abusive in their friendship. B talked Daughter into having the cook-out, but now will not be able to attend because she and her boyfriend, J, are going camping. I’m skeptical about whether the camping will actually happen, but Daughter believes B, and is disappointed that B is blowing off the cook-out she convinced Daughter to have.

Daughter had been busy planning games (water balloons and basketball, among other things), and had been very excited. Monday she came home in a very foul mood. Gradually the story came out. J and B have camping plans, and most of her other friends won’t have transportation to get here. Boyfriend offered to host it at his house, but needs to get permission from whoever supervises the house. Daughter wanted to have it here.

We discussed several options, and finally Daughter decided she would plan a picnic for her friends before the free concert in the park this Friday. Staff makes sure that most of the group home and supported living people get there, if they want to go. I was proud of her for coming up with an acceptable alternative.

After finishing her chores, Daughter retreated to the dining room. I thought she was working on her scrapbook again, but when I entered the room, I discovered she was working on a list. She was making a list of all the people she wanted to invite to the pre-concert picnic and the menu options she’d offer each of them! After getting over the shock, I explained that we weren’t offering up restaurant service, but would provide some food and they could take it or leave it. I also vetoed going out and buying a picnic basket for the event. Fortunately, she was agreeable. We do need to sit down, though, and figure out what food we will take, and how many people we will be feeding. I hope I haven’t created a monster!

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