Fiona and I had a long phone conversation today. She is coming for a visit home next Saturday but the holidays are starting to be first and foremost in her mind. I expected that. Holidays are very much a mixed blessing for her. On the one hand, she looks forward to them almost as much as KC and Lissa. On the other hand, the double whammy of her birthday and Christmas remains hard for her to manage. Though she is turning 24 this year she has no money concept and is prone to asking for gifts that are far beyond the price point of what I can provide for her. I can expect several conversations this year with varying degrees of success about this. Last year for instance, she wanted a 250 ipod touch as one of her gifts. It was hard to explain to her that Christmas for 5 kids means everyone gets something that they want but that there are limits to what I can spend and how many gifts I can supply.
This year, Fi has had more visits home to her first mom, Mom J. She told me today that Mom J wants her there for Halloween so she can go out when they take her sister R who is about Lissa's age, out trick or treating. Fiona was feeling conflicted because she always comes with us and was afraid KC and Lissa would be upset. She thought she had come up with a solution which involved all of us going out together. Which would be fine except that we live 2 1/2 hours apart!
I explained that we would miss her but that in big families we have to take turns being together. We had been lucky enough to have her with us for a bunch of Halloween celebrations. It was J and R's turn and no one would be angry or upset if that was what she wanted to do. I explained the logistics of why it was not possible for us to trick or treat together. Distance, the week night etc all play a role. Also I know J does not drive and I reminded her that I do very little night driving because of my migraines.
I suggested that she and I brain storm with the rest of the family about a place where next summer we could have a big potluck picnic type gathering. Ideally we can find some place 1/2 way between us all with lots of space to gather, eat and play. She was very excited by that possiblility and it is something I would genuinely like to do. I am hoping her cousin N might have some ideas of possible places and I will start googling looking for ideas too.