This little declaration from my open minded three year old was made last night, shortly after my copy of The Little Mermaid arrived in the mail. We were sitting on the couch, preparing for bed when she smiled up at me, her big brown eyes wide with joy.
“Mommy, I’m going to be a Mermaid when I get bigger.” She said it with such reverence, such confidence, such elation and I could not help but feel so proud of her.
Younger and younger, children’s imaginations are being stripped from them in an attempt to educate them on the real world. The magic of being young is losing the war against our perceived reality. In fact, I recently read an article where the writer actually encouraged parents to dissuade their child from creating unobtainable goals, such as being a mermaid, because it sets them up for failure which leads to decreased self esteem.
Well you can dissuade your child, Mrs. Big Shot Parenting Writer, but I will not. My daughter will grow up to be a mermaid, do you know why? Because when I am swimming, I AM a mermaid. When I am in the shower singing horribly off tune, I am doing it to an audience of millions. When I walk down the street, you bet your pretty little behind that flash mobs are dancing around me like they do in Disney movies. Why? Because unlike you, I don’t believe reality is confined to what we see. Reality is what we make of it, and is unique to us all. Where you look at a child flopping chaotically in the pool, I see a mermaid splashing about with her very own purple, sparkly tale.
And there is nothing you can do about it.