Can I just say how much I love 10-year-old girls? We had a bevy of them sleep over last night for L’s birthday and I’ve come away replete with their gorgeousness.
I love how they are on the cusp of childhood and womanhood and the way they swing between the two unselfconsciously. One minute they’re singing their hearts out to Rosenstoltz and Pink and Duffy, then they’re earnestly teaching each other board games and the next minute they’re on the floor playing farms. They watch Harry Potter and go to sleep cuddling their fluffy toys. Some of them, I might add, don’t sleep at all.
They love talking, to each other and to the grown-ups, and they haven’t swallowed any of the crap about being cool. Or if they have, they’ve forgotten it after an hour when they pull L’s four-year-old brother onto their backs to gallop him around the house.
I love their long legs and flat chests and how they haven’t started believing any of the lies society tells them about their bodies. I love how they’re still caught in the moment, not regretting the past or hoping for some unknown future. I love their potential – what will little S, who I’ve known since she was three, and who is a now beautiful dancer and talented pianist, one day be? Will they be zookeepers and scientists and pilots and archeologists, as they now dream?
I hope the people who are raising these gorgeous daughters are also raising gorgeous sons. I want these 10-year-olds to be respected and loved by men who are as wise and lovely as they are.
Yesterday I glimpsed the future. I hope that the impending teenage years don’t chip away their trust in the world. I hope their dreams don’t implode. I hope the men they encounter don’t expect them to fit into a mould of femininity that constricts their sense of self. If they meet such men, I hope they have the confidence to say, “Stuff you. This is me. Take or leave it.”
Let the future be kind to them, beautiful creatures that they are.