I knew a man who named his first kid after a movie mermaid. No one you know.
My daughters experienced their own Mermaid Stage. Creative leg wrappings and feet bound together at the heel mark the age. Water games center around my quick-footed kids transforming instantly into half girl, half fish, when they come in contact with the water.
They’re only to become human again at sundown. I think.
Or is it sunset? In mermaid movies – Aquamarine, The Little Mermaid, Splash – mermaids scramble at sunset or sunrise. Forgive my ignorance. I had a Dinosaur Stage, a Stormtrooper Stage, even a Future NFL Quarterback Stage.
None of those changed depending on the sun.
So, Daryl Hannah? Ariel? The angelic mermaid with dirty blond curls who rescued me when I fell into Frank’s Fishing Pond in Colorado as a teenager? (OK, so I made that up.) You’re out.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially declared mermaids unreal. Read about it here.
Misinformation reigned, apparently, thanks to television. People believed the hype of certain shows airing on cable, probably channels with triple-digit assignments that I don’t get anyway.
Setting them straight about NOAA’s truth
Imagine my confusion: Wondering whether, upon meeting a mermaid near a favorite pizza joint in Wilmington or down the first-base line at the Charleston RiverDogs stadium, I’d be love-struck and mesmerized, or just hungry for a woman-sized slab of grilled salmon.
Pronto, and solo, please.
I’d set the record straight for my impressionable youngest two, about NOAA’s truth, lest they spend another day of their lives pining for that long-lost aquatic buddy with the seashell bra and floppy tail.
NOAA’s facts didn’t budge them a bit.
They were as resolute as those believers who strapped on their Nikes and waited for their comet to come in.
Very cute, when you consider Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, high-quality Happy Meal toys, and other myths kids keep alive with faith and hopes.
So, girls, do you still believe?
“We do … it’s called imagination, dad,” Marie answered with what I’ll classify as more sass, less sarcasm.
Ever seen a mermaid, girls?
How can you believe in something you’ve never seen?
I expected the conversation to turn heavy, with questions about Jesus and the wind and healthy, yummy snacks – you know, legends that can be gospelized and felt and dreamed of but never actually seen.
Nope. The girls turned tail, and ran upstairs.
Unlike them to give up so easily.
Then, I heard the drumming of feet down the stairs, carrying a tiny body suddenly brimming with a suitable answer.
“You believe in stuff you never see,” Grace pointed out with a bounce in her step. She could barely get out the words while she held in that kind of righteous snickering you get when you know you have a good one (George Costanza’s “jerk store,” anyone?)
“You believe the Rockies will actually win!”
Oh, child. Barb, delivered. Pattering feet, back up the stairs. I could just sense my girls high-fiving or fist-bumping or high-stepping in the trash-talking behavior common to any second- to sixth-grade girl who just told her dad.
Oh no she didn’t.
Oh yes she did.
Kids’ Mermaids 1,
Daddy’s Rockies 0
I’ll promise those kidlets a trip to the coast, for a little mermaid watching.
Soon as my Rockies win the World Series.