Paprika turned TEN on Tuesday!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, (or just started reading this blog), you know that Paprika adores the very special, one and only, Mermaid Linden!
Paprika swam with Mermaid Linden last year on her birthday, which was a magical dream come true for her!
Paprika on the day she met Mermaid Linden in person last year. Paprika had been watching her YouTube videos forever and she was already a huge fan:
At the Make-A-Wish walk, April 2016:
At the LA County Fair, September 2015:
Whenever we see Mermaid Linden, Paprika always says immediately afterwards: When can we see Mermaid Linden again? I miss her soooo much!
And then she usually cries herself to sleep (I’m not joking).
Every day (many times/day), Paprika will say to me: How do you think Mermaid Linden is doing? Where do you think she’s swimming right now? Do you think she’s in her grotto? Do you think she’s hanging out with a whale shark? When will Mermaid Linden film more Mermaid Minute videos?
Last year after we saw Mermaid Linden at the Fair, Paprika told me her BIG wish for her 10th Birthday was to spend the day with Mermaid Linden. She said that it was her only birthday wish, and that she would forgo all Christmas and birthday presents forever if that wish could come true.
I was sad because I didn’t know how to make that happen. We’d lucked out with Mermaid Linden going to Dive ‘N Surf on Paprika’s birthday last year. But, I didn’t think it would be possible for us to swim with Mermaid Linden for Paprika’s 10th birthday. There were so many obstacles standing in our way (like no pool, for starters!)
Well, long story short and due to the generosity of some very nice people – Paprika’s 10th Birthday wish magically came true!
Paprika spent the afternoon of her 10th Birthday with Mermaid Linden swimming with her in a huge, private, amazing pool in the Hollywood Hills. I’m not making this up.
It was hands-down, the most incredible day of Paprika’s life. And that is saying something because Paprika’s had a very exciting life (like when she met Bindi Irwin and then Bindi and Derek Hough recorded a special video just for Paprika).
The night before Paprika’s birthday, she didn’t sleep (and I didn’t really either – but I never sleep! Haha) Paprika probably got an hour of sleep because she was tingling with excitement.
Mr. M took the day off work for Paprika’s birthday – which, is a HUGE deal because he’s a workaholic. He made cupcakes with homemade frosting for the birthday – and they were delicious!
Then, it was time to see Mermaid Linden!
Paprika and Ginger swam in the pool and rode on the giant Pukapuka shell that they named “The Linden”:
Violet (4) was a little scared of the water at first, but she got the hang of it quickly. Ellie Belly (18 months) decided she wanted to stay on dry land. 🙂
We played games in the pool with Mermaid Linden. Paprika got to test a top secret project Mermaid Linden’s working on with Body Glove (of course, I’ll tell you all about it the second I can!) We swam underwater with her. She told us stories about seeing sea turtles in the ocean and having a whale look her straight in the eyes! We wanted to listen to her forever and hear all her stories about the amazing places that she’s (really) been!
She gave Paprika the most beautiful mermaid necklace that she will cherish forever. And she also gifted all the girls with so many special treasures and presents. It was – I’m going to say it – a dream come true.
It wasn’t only Paprika who had fun. We all did. Ginger (7) and Violet (4) both had the best time in the water. They think of Mermaid Linden as an extended member of our family. 🙂 They really do!
The day passed all too quickly, and there might have been tears on the car ride home, because it was hard to say goodbye. I kept thinking: Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
It was a beautiful day to remember.
I’m so grateful that Mermaid Linden is in the world. She’s such an amazing role model for children. She’s a conservationist, a science lover, and a positive, uplifting magical mermaid.
When Paprika was five years old, she said that when she grew up, she wanted to be a mermaid. She said, I’ll walk straight into the ocean and swim forever with my mermaid friends! Well, a little bit of that wish came true on her 10th birthday.
When we got home, Ginger (7) wrote this note to Mermaid Linden all on her own:
When we got back to our house, we had more cupcakes, and then it was time for Paprika open her presents. Paprika was super happy with a new Nancy Drew computer game and book. We got her the Clue board game. Ginger (7) bought her a whale pillow. Violet (4) bought her a sea lion figurine. Ellie (18 months) gave her a kiss. 🙂
Then, I took Paprika out for a special dinner at her favorite restaurant – Islands! Instead of wearing a sweater, Paprika wore her Mermaid Linden hoodie towel. Of course, she did!
So, that was Paprika’s 10th Birthday. It was so magical, I didn’t have time to be sad that she’s growing up.
When Paprika went to bed that night, she told me: Mom, I’m having the best childhood and today was the best day. I felt like I was dreaming all day long. But, it really happened!
So, we all slept pretty well that night – dreaming of swimming with mermaids! 🙂