Secretary and I had arranged for her foster sons to ride their bikes into Tiny Village to play with Daughter. O & D are 15 and 16 and come from backgrounds similar to Daughter's. They were both in a residential treatment center before graduating to foster care. Like Daughter, both struggle to fit in with their peers, so we find ourselves arranging play dates for them.
I offered them several options, and they chose to play croquet. It had been so long since we'd had the croquet set out that the zipper was corroded shut. But we got it open, I set it up, and I even decided to play with them. (I've always loved croquet). The grass was too long and the yard too uneven, with lots of little holes and dips to make the game more challenging. Everyone had a good time. I kept O from cheating (he tried hard). I answered D's questions about ministry (he was kind of freaked out about playing a game with a minister).
Daughter was cool to the idea initially, and informed me she would spend no more than 15 minutes with them. Once the game started, she relaxed and enjoyed herself. It was nice to see them encouraging one another and having a good time. For an hour or so, they were normal teens/young adults having a good time together. We're probably going to set these up for twice a week during the summer. It will be good for all of them. Hopefully it will help Daughter be more content here, and ease her frustration with our isolation here in Tiny Village.