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Serendipity Ophelia Fontainebleau—or Seren Zippity DooDah Mountain Dew, as her third-grade school friends liked to call her—found out she was a glorious mistake on an exceptionally lovely July afternoon. Her mama said so, right there on the screened in porch, as she played in the yard, and Serendipity heard her and kind of liked the sound of it.


Mama usually just called her an aptly named parting gift. One she said she got from a hot night in the back seat of some shiny convertible from a kind-eyed man who always had a head full of horseshit and better things to do.

Serendipity’s Mama and the lady from next door sat there, in the rocking chairs, sipping on that grown-up iced tea that always smelled kind of funny and keeping an eye on her. The two of them rocked back and forth, slapping their generous thighs and hooting about how church folks always sang about laying their burdens down by the riverside.

And the neighbor lady said that Mama might have let that good-looking man lay something down there, in the parking lot of the Riverside Sheraton, but it didn’t sound like much of a burden to her.

Mama fanned herself afterwards and chuckled. And that’s when she said that, yes, Serendipity might have been a mistake. But she was the most glorious mistake that Mama had ever made.