Unexpected Gifts

I love all gifts and there are many. There are nearly predictable bouquets and candy for Mother’s Day and if you saw the one I received, you might be jealous.

It seemed to bloom out of the box!

Bouquet from Harmony Harvest Farm. Photo by author.

I added water and it expanded, exploded with colors and variety. It’s gorgeous and going strong.

It was a surprise but also a bit predictable. I love it.

Then, there are those surprises that turn into gifts. Totally unexpected, they just happen. Serendipity.


I sat in my jogging gear at my grown kids’ co-ed soccer game on Sunday anticipating brunch with my parents and enjoying the sunshine.

I noticed they had no substitutes.

The manager turned to me and asked if I played.

Very little, I replied, putting emphasis on VERY. It had been years and when I did play it was not a thing of beauty.

I can chase down a ball.

At half time, the manager questioned both of my kids.

She had a second game later in the day, so when a sub arrived in the second half, the manager took my daughter out.

She plopped down, sweating and said, “You didn’t want to go in, did you?”

My silence said everything.

She took off her cleats and called, “NIGEL! My mom will play.”

I tied them on and went to the line.

My daughter said, “GO IN! It’s going to end soon!”

I stepped in.

I heard my son yell, “GO DOWN THE LINE!” so I ran down the line. I heard him yell, “GIVE IT RIGHT BACK,” as the ball appeared at my feet.

I must have paused, because I then heard, “NOW!”

I did as I was told.

I watched a ball drop from the other side of the field and I ran to meet it.

Everything was a blur.

I felt my heart pumping madly. I was breathing hard and told myself, “Slow your breathing.”

I may have been in for 3 minutes; it may have been 10. I don’t know. It was a blur.

When the whistle blew to signal the end, I was grinning from ear-to-ear. It felt so good!

Being in the game beats sitting on the sidelines. Photo used by permission.

As I shook the opponents’ hands I found myself saying, “Thanks for letting me play!”

My teammates were only kind. “When I saw you run down the field, I said she can move!” one said.

I kept saying, “Thanks for letting me play!” and “It feels good to move.”


The gifts kept coming.

On the drive home, my son voiced his concern. “I was worried you would take a hit and tear an ACL or something.”

A thought which had never occurred to me. I assumed they did not suggest I play due to my lack of skill. They admitted later, “You didn’t suck.” For a soon-to-be grandma, that’s a compliment.

I would say this serendipitous gift was the best, but there was one other…a suggestion for a joint project with my son. It involves books, which I love. He knows it.

I was shocked, and so honored by the idea, but will wait to see how it unfolds. I am letting him lead this project.

When it comes to fruition, I will let you know!

By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.


  1. Have to say, predictable or not, those flowers were stunning!! Glorious, in fact. The serendipitous gift of playing soccer is in a whole other league of its own. I definitely could not have done it, but so glad you did. A memory you will have for a lifetime ❤

  2. I absolutely love this story! You go, girl. We still have some spirit left in us!! ❤️❤️ the photo. Blessings to all!

  3. Great day!! What a wonderful feeling to be able to be there and in the moment!! It is fantastic to see where your life is taking you!! Love to you!!

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