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The case of the missing memento

The mystery began with a disappearance.  The grizzled old woman in the black headscarf went missing one morning. Those familiar with her knew her to be harmless; still negative perceptions persisted.  She was suspected of being a witch.  Even in 2016, there are those (okay so it’s one person) who would believe a hunchbacked old woman is partaking in the black arts.  I had a suspect. I had a motive. It was time to get Nancy Drew. 
My girl.  I used to want to be Nancy Drew. How about Nancy De La Cruz?
I began by questioning witnesses.  Had the one person, the one fearful of witchery, been seen with the missing person?  It didn’t take long before an eyewitness confirmed that the old woman was forcibly removed to an area inhabited by several international residents.  The eyewitness had defended the old woman from the witchcraft allegations; the old woman now had a new home.  I resolved to protect the old woman from continued harassment. At one point, I had to physically escort her home because the old woman was once again forcibly evicted.  For now, she is safe.
Antes que llamen a la policia, know that the tale I have told is fiction loosely based on a true event.  When sharing your home with folks, be they family or friends or tenants, things will sometimes get misplaced.  While I may give the side-eye, I don’t make a fuss. I play detective and right the wrong as best I can.  The high road is best in these situations. 
For the record, la befana is a witch but she’s not a sign of my participation or endorsement of black magic.  In Italy, the befana delivers the Christmas gifts on Epiphany eve, rather than Santa.  So while Italians do have Christmas trees, the tradition continues.  
Does this look like a sorceress to you? 
I got a Befana doll in Piazza Navona as a keepsake from my trip with my parents to Italy where we spent an amazing Christmas complete with Midnight Mass with St. Pope John Paul II.  To me, the befana reminds me of those happy memories and, ironically, as a reminder of the faith my family shares.  She used to be in my kitchen but now hangs over the fireplace in the company of Russian nest dolls and Thai elephants on the mantel. 
Family dynamics can be complicated. (Previously on our family sitcom)  One minor change or disagreement can trigger uneasiness, tension, and confrontation.  With patience and a sense of humor about these situations, those negative feelings pass.  

Sitcom storyline

La verdad and we ain’t ashamed: some of our family time is spent watching TV. We don’t just settle on the couch, Simpsons style, zoning out before anything. Now that M is 6, we are much more thoughtful about what we watch together. Gone are the days of watching trashy VH1 reality shows (thank goodness M was a baby and will never remember I Love Money) or hoping that the Glee storylines wouldn’t get too sexy because those musical numbers were so awesome (Rumor has it/Someone like you mashup days). In recent months, we have been watching sitcoms about families not unlike our own, namely Fresh off the Boat, Cristela, and Blackish. Interestingly enough, we are living one of the storylines.
Rambo’s mom now lives with us. M gets to enjoy spending more time with her Nana. Rambo is watching his use of profanity. Yes, the house is tidier. But, as witnessed on a few of the episodes of the previously mentioned sitcoms, living in a multigenerational household has challenges—and we don’t have the benefit of writers crafting a script that resolves those in half an hour.
Lest you think I’m living out a Monster-in-Law feud, I’m blessed.  Nana and I have never exchanged unkind words and probably won’t, given the positive nature of our relationship over the last seven years. An old friend of mine used to endure insults about her appearance from her longtime boyfriend’s mother.  In spite of that, she would bring the woman souvenirs from business trips, only to have them rejected.  Not surprisingly, the relationship ended when the boyfriend stated his intention to have his mother move in when they married.  I took notes on that situation. I am grateful for a decent suegra.
Nana has joined us in watching our shows. She was not too impressed with Cristela (too Americanized) and Blackish (she thought it wasn’t funny) but she did like Fresh off the Boat. What we love about watching these shows together is that they speak to and for us. They reflect loving families, families that we can relate to culturally, philosophically, and experientially. Besides, a thirty-minute time limit on any family problem is a good goal to have.