Your little one might love playing pretend as a mermaid in the pool and around the house.
In fact, they might have even answered the age-old question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A mermaid!"
It sounds like a fantasy.
But it isn't as far-fetched as you might think.
There are, in fact, professional mermaids out there making a full time living being an underwater magical creature.
But it isn't all sparkles and mermaid tails.
According to an article on Priceonomics, professional mermaids require training in CPR, free diving (diving with oxygen tanks), swimming, marine biology, and knowledge of aquatic life.
It’s actually quite involved and strenuous. It seems to me a bit like ballet: performers make their movements look light and effortless, but in reality? Ballet is a difficult athletic sport like any other. It takes training, perseverance, and hard work like any job.
Some professional mermaids train to hold their breath underwater for five whole minutes. That's incredible!\
Many mermaids sew their own costumes or get them custom-made. They wear sturdy monofins like the ones sold at Sun Tail Mermaids.
Mermaids perform at aquariums, water parks, and even birthday parties where there are swimming pools.
Weeki Watchee in Florida is a park filled with professional mermaids.
They have hidden air compressor hoses that the mermaids learn to breathe in. These bits of technology are hidden behind rocks, so the mermaids can swim for much longer at a time without surfacing for air.
It's a tough job, but well worth the reward of being able to answer "What do you do for a living?" with "I'm a real life mermaid!"
Tell your little ones that their dreams can be a reality. They too can one day become a real-life mermaid!