Italian Monopoly and Life Lessons

Posted on May 2, 2011

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Dear Disney Monopoly,

I don’t recall the last time that I have played regular Monopoly! I think it was when my sister and I lived together back when I was around twenty years old. That was over six years ago! I distinctly remember, now that I am thinking about it, that it we also had a bottle of Jack Daniels and a Taco Bell delivery since we couldn’t drive! Playing Monopoly in another language with a 5 and 7-year-old is another story. Luckily, they didn’t drive me to drinking whiskey! I had fun but I am positive that we were not playing by the official rules. The Disney Edition meant that Tommaso was Peter Pan and I was Tinker Bell. Secretly, I did want to be Tink since she was the ony gold piece but let Matteo picked for me so he read my mind. When Matteo wanted to join he would be the Lady and the Tramp game piece and use my money with me. Tommaso wanted to buy EVERYTHING he landed on but once he ran out of money trying to explain to a kid that he was broke using my few words in Italian was an issue. “Non hai soldi!” (you have no money!) I kept telling him when he was trying to buy the most expensive property with only about 85 Monopoly bucks. He is learning his math but buying and selling property is a little more challenging. Once I realized that he might get really upset and quit the game I asked if we should take money from the bank. I gave us each an extra 600 and we played some more. I couldn’t explain buying “cottages” and “castles” (houses and hotels) so I just let him put his single stolen castle wherever he wanted. Each time I landed on his property I paid up and he would pay me when he was on mine. Problem was that Matteo was “playing” as my partner so each time he went that was paid out my cash stash as well. I felt that I might lose this game even though we were not playing correctly. Matteo wanted to buy the “Toy Story” property, which in turn, made him want to watch the film. We took a break from the game and had some fresh strawberries and watched about 40 minutes of Toy Story together. As we continued to play the game and take money from the bank I realized why we were going so broke! When you pass “Via!” (go!) you are to collect $200 and I totally forgot! Reading an entire game in Italian, and some upside down is not easy alright! I had a great time playing and I hope that we play this more. The thing I like about this game is that it is always different and it is a LONG game! It is hard enough to keep them interested in something for 10 minutes that isn’t on TV. This game is the answer and we practice counting and reading it is good for each of us.

The boys were expecting their “playdate” to come around 6 but they arrived around 7. Italian time. The two boys and their nanny Nancy (that really is her name!) greeted us and the boys slowly made the living room a gigantic mess. T introduced us and we laughed and shared with her that her mother refers to me as “Nancie.”  I was under the impression that I was going to be responsible for making them dinner and doing my best to entertain the real Nancy while the children played. Not like that whatsoever. I was thankful that T came home right before the kids arrived since I was totally unsure how to handle “guests.” About thirty minutes later the boys mom came over and relieved the real Nancy. T’s good friend, we will call her Giada, since I think that she is just as gorgeous as the real Giada from TV, is one of the most kindhearted people who I have met. She is always so sweet and asks me how I am doing. She calls me “cara Lexie.” (dear Lexie) After we made the children sit down to eat, which was a disaster, her and I had a real conversation about life and family. Tommaso didn’t want to stay seated and Matteo didn’t want to eat. Story of their lives. Matteo has a loose tooth so he is very particular about what he eats lately. He was so excited to show me the other day he shared that the “Topolino” (tooth fairy mouse) was going to bring him a huge gift! Soon as the children finished their pasta and had some more berries they continued to play while Giada and I had our heart to heart. T had to step out because her mom called her and needed her across the street at her house. She seemed very irritated about it but said she would be right back in five minutes. Giada became very honest with me and shared the loss of her parents in the last year. From what I understood of her conversation with T before she left it was something along the lines of, “at least you still have your mother to fight with! Go to her and we will smoke a cigarette afterwards! Go!” This is my interpretation but after what she shared with me about her mother it was sadly apparent that the loss was still very new and stung. I could feel it in her eyes and made myself look away since I felt I might cry just talking about my mother losing her mom not that long ago. Giada told me that the love that her parents shared was such a strong connection that they couldn’t live without each other and passed away within a few months of one another! Grand love but a grand loss. I know that my grandparents are with each other again and that when my nana left he personally came to get her. He is smiling and playing his accordion and she probably doesn’t have to yell “honey!” to him since I think he probably got his hearing back. They still dance together and hold hands wherever they are. When I get married I refuse to say any words along the lines of ‘until death do us part” since I strongly believe that death cannot truly part real love. I might say, “until divorce do us part” but that is it! Did I just write my own vows? Kidding, I plan to only marry once! Emotionally this adventure has done something to me. I am much more aware of the way I feel about pretty much everything. I have become more patient (finally! and I still have plenty of Rescue Remedy) and am a far better listener than I have ever been. I have always been a little mature for my age but I think that emotionally I have matured, which is equally important in “growing up.” It has taken some time but I think I am learning the difference between letting something be and just simply letting something go. In the past I always let everything go and never looked back. No fear and no regret. Now, I am a little more cautious and learning that letting things just “be” is much easier and takes way less energy from me than pushing something away. I learned that letting something go is NOT the same as pushing something away. Letting something be is letting something stay the way that it is without judgement or force. Like the game Monopoly, sometimes you just have to choose “Chance.” When you choose chance you believe in chance.

Last Word Lexie

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Posted in: When in Rome