There is just something about them, that makes me feel happy and at peace. That love was solidified after I read the Mermaid Story by Robert Fulghum, in the book Everything I needed to know about life I learned in kindergarten. The condensed version goes like this:
One rainy Sunday afternoon I found myself in charge of 70 or so school age children. We were in a gymnasium, and I knew that if I didn't come up with an idea before long - pure chaos would ensue. At that very moment I remembered a game - an old roll playing game called Wizards, Giants and Goblins. So I got my charges to calm down (no easy feat, thank you very much), and I explained the rules of the game:"Now," I proclaimed, "if you wish to be a Giant, stand at the front of the room. If you wish to be a Wizard, stand in the middle. And those who wish to be Goblins stand toward the back. All right, let the play begin." I allowed the children several minutes to confer in huddled masses until the action resumed.As I was standing there I felt I tug on my coat. When I looked down, there was a little girl with blue, questioning eyes."Scuse me, but where do the mermaids stand?""Mermaids? Mermaids?" I sputtered. "There are no mermaids.""Oh, yes there are. For you see, I'm a mermaid, and I wish to know where to stand."Now here was a little girl who knew exactly what she was - a mermaid, pure and simple and she wanted to know where to stand. And, she wouldn't be satisfied standing on the sidelines watching the others play. She had her place, and she wanted to know where to stand.But, where do the mermaids stand? - all those children we try to mold and form to fit into our boxes.Sometimes, I have moments of inspiration. I looked down at that child, and I held her hand -"Why the mermaid shall stand next to The King of the Sea." (Yeah, King of the Fools would be more likely.)So, we stood together - the mermaid and the King of the Sea - as the Wizards, Giants and Goblins roiled by in grand procession. It isn't true, by the way, what they say about mermaids not existing. I know they do for I've held one's hand.