Mermaids Are Real

We live in a well-manicured suburb with rules about things like paint color. Last weekend, we had plans to do something a bit noisy, and I didn’t want our neighbors to be alarmed.

There were going to be some explosions involving black powder. A pirate was coming over. — and he was bringing a mermaid. How do you explain that to the neighbors?

I decided to post an awkwardly written notice in our HOA’s message board:

There may be just a few minutes of noise tomorrow afternoon between 2-4p. A mermaid and pirate are visiting our kids (I know, sounds weird, but my daughter is homebound and this is a quality of life issue.) Please text me if you have any concerns (or want to watch!)

And it really happened:


Here’s the backstory:

1) Julianna knows that mermaids are real

It probably comes as no surprise that Julianna loves mermaids. A few weeks ago, someone showed her a video clip of a mermaid swimming in an aquarium, and she was mesmerized. To her, mermaids are real, just like Disney princesses are real

2) A real mermaid contacted us.

I’m still not quite sure how this happened. Someone reached out to someone – who happens to be a facilitator of a mermaid network. The mermaid facilitator made an inquiry and found a mermaid who lives in our area. I got an e-mail asking if Julianna would like a visit from a real mermaid.

3) Of course Julianna would want a visit from a real mermaid!

4) I talked to the mermaid facilitator and then to Mermaid Una, a Portland-based mermaid. I learned that there are hundreds of mermaids around the world. Some make a living out of it by working events and parties, but many do it just because they love sharing the magic of the merworld with others.

As if that wasn’t enough, Mermaid Una would be accompanied by a pirate named Quartermaster Randy Rackham  (who happens to be her husband).

Here are the highlights of the visit:

Everyone but Julianna knew about the visit. When she saw Mermaid Una and Quartermaster Randy come through the door (on a small boat), she was delighted – but not shocked.


Una and Julianna both happened to be dressed in the same shade of yellow (honest, it wasn’t planned). Julianna admired Una’s jewelry and overall style.




— After introductions, the basics were affirmed:

Una: Some people don’t believe in mermaids.

J: I believe! But Dadddy doesn’t…

— They talked. J learned about sea creatures from a mermaid’s perspective (Dolphins are chatty; jellyfish are smart.). She discovered the factors that determine the color of a mermaid’s tail (it’s part geography, part choice).


— J showed Una her princess room. They sang and played and watched The Little Mermaid. Julianna received some treasures, including a mermaid doll she named Gloria.


— In the meantime, Alex did fun pirate things.

He and Steve shot a flintlock gun. (No bullets, just black powder and some noise — as promised. )

They made huge bubbles with “Soap on a Rope.” (The way pirates get clean, he was told…)



They said their goodbyes and promised to come back. (J has already asked me when they are available…)


And that is the story of how a mermaid rolled in on a tiny boat to visit a little girl who believes in mermaids and magic. It’s the tale of how a little boy(who so often is asked to take a back seat to medical necessity) played with a pirate who made big explosions and even bigger bubbles.

Not everyone believes in mermaids and magic, but I think that we can all agree on this: there is beauty in this world that cannot be captured in a picture or described by words. That beauty, driven by love, is magical. It exists even if you don’t believe in it.

I believe in this unquantifiable, unexplainable beauty. It’s bigger than the pain and sorrow of this life, and it is a glimpse of what is to come.

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again

— C.S. Lewis

20 thoughts on “Mermaids Are Real

  1. Such delightful February thoughts, images, and words. And just in time for Lent — where beauty can sometimes only be found in the wilderness.


  2. what a glorious day for both kids … aren’t people wonderful … this made me smile just thinking of those 2 enjoying some magic


  3. YAY! At first I was a little bit baffled why there was a mermaid & a pirate .. but by the end of the post I understood & thought it was a very sweet & appropriate gesture that the pirate came along to join the fun 🙂

    Whoever planned this is so thoughtful and lovely!

    Also, Soap on a Rope looks incredibly fun, hahaha

    hugs to all, have a good weekend!


    • I read in fairy tales that mermaids, fairies and all the magical creatures are drawn to the innocence of children! How could they not be drawn to the blessings that are Alex and Julianna! I’m sure that the mer community and the Pirates all over the world are better for Julianna and Alex having drawn them into their own world of magic!


  4. What a wonderful wonder full day Juliana and Alex had! Thank you so much for sharing this enchanting day with us. I am so very happy for everyone. God bless that couple who are filled with love and goodness and giving and tell Dad he better believe now! Ha! Big hugs to all


  5. What a lovely couple and how blessed they are to enjoy being themselves and at the same time they can spread love and joy and sparkles to those who appreciate such things.. Julianna being a prime example, of course.

    And so happy that Alex got his own special visit as well.


  6. This is so beautiful! I am at a loss for words that will adequately express what I want to say . . .I am so happy your family had this visit, had the fun they did, and that you and Steve were able to watch them enjoy it! You both are in the middle of so much, I can only imagine how incredibly sweet it was to see both Julianna and Alex enjoy their time with the Mermaid and Quartermaster Randy. What a beautiful act of love and kindness.


  7. Sometimes the kindness of people brings tears to my eyes. So happy that Mermaid and Pirate could bring joy to a little girl and her brother.


  8. Good morning Julianna, I felt like I couldn’t keep this to myself and had to share it with you, it is always so wonderful to get a manifestation that the Lord thinks upon us and I had a dream several days ago of the most beautiful dress shimmering sapphire blue sparkling especially on the bottom of the dress and on the top was the little mermaid it was Ariel. I woke up wondering why I dreamed of a dress with Ariel on it and when I saw your Mothers post yesterday about mermaids I just felt like I had to tell you about it sometimes the Lord tells us He loves and thinks of us thru people we don’t even know and so I couldn’t keep this dream of a beautiful dress that no one was wearing to myself when I feel the dream belongs to you. Sincerely, April


  9. Jessica approves, her favorite Disney movie is the Little Mermaid. Great to see Julianna and you guys having fun. Love and prayers from Pedro, Sujin, and Jessica.


  10. It looks like again, Princess Julianna and Alex, had a very enjoyable day spending the day with a real
    Mermaid & Pirate!
    All the very best to the Snow Family.
    God Bless,
    Monday, February 8, 2016


  11. I am reading your story in People magazine and I wanted to let you know the respect I feel for you as parents, to be able to understand and respect your daughters wishes. I have been a Respiratory Therapist for almost 40 yrs and have been the person to have to NT suction children with similar diseases. I am also a woman of great faith , mostly confirmed and strengthened through my years of working in a hospital! God Bless you all. You will be in my daily prayers. You beautiful girl is wise beyond her years and lucky to have parents who recognize this!


  12. Julianna,
    I read about how awesome and creative you are, so I thought it would be neat to read your mom’s blog, and WOWEE am I glad I did, because when I was your age I met a mermaid too! It wasn’t Una though, because the mermaid I met had a green tail with bits of blue on the fins, and blue hair with bits of green on the end. That sounds funny, but she looked really nice, I promise. My kid (because I’m a grown up) is a little younger than you and has never met a mermaid, so he is very jealous that Una visited you.
    Keep believing in mermaids!

    P.S. My favorite Disney princess is Belle, and someday I hope I can visit her library and read books with her.


  13. I was so happy to see and hear how happy the kids were with this visit! The smile on Julianna’s face made me smile!! I am also glad that Alex was able to participate as well! Thank you for sharing and for your beautiful words.


  14. A long time ago, I read in fairy tales that mermaids, fairies and all the magical creatures are drawn to the innocence of children! How could they not be drawn to the blessings that are Alex and Julianna! I’m sure that the mer community and the Pirates all over the world are better for Julianna and Alex having drawn them into their own world of magic!


  15. Grandmer Orchid was so excited to hear that a little girl believed in mermaids! The magical creatures are dancing with joy every where they live to know that Julianna and Alex are helping to keep our magic alive and strong. Tickley mermaid kisses (because they are bubbles!) and octopus hugs to you all.


  16. Want to Join the family of real mermaid, You can actually become a real mermaid instead of buying or wearing of artificial mermaid tale. You can get a spell or wear a ring that can turn you into a mermaid at anytime you want to. contact email: joinmermaidfamily @ gmail . com You can explain to us how you want it, our child Melissa is a real mermaid and we have a huge family of real mermaid.


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