Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Beautiful Creatures


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.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

18 thoughts on “Beautiful Creatures

  1. This is beautiful. And I know just what you mean. I have the same thoughts watching my older daughter and her friends.

  2. That’s beautiful. I am doing my best to raise boys who will respect girls and treat them with loving care they deserve

  3. “I love how they’re still caught in the moment, not regretting the past or hoping for some unknown future.”


  4. Just lovely. It is so true… My daughter is the same age. Almost wish I could freeze her in time…

  5. A gorgeous age for girls, and so beautifully observed.

  6. They are lovely. I looked about 30 when I was ten so I missed out on the whole being beautiful thing but drink in my own girls’ beauty every day.

  7. Beautifully said. This makes me want to become a parent!

    Thanks for stopping by Writer Abroad!

  8. Hey, I’m glad I stopped over here after I visited the crabbyoldfart, who has nothing good to say about any young people at all. It is good to know that there is a pool of beautiful intelligent and cherished children out there.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. This, having just sung my 2yo daughter to sleep, makes me scared, excited and thankful for the journey ahead for her.

    Charlotte, I do love your writing, by the way.

  10. So observant of you. This is why I always wanted a daughter.

  11. Oh, what beautiful words, and what a wonderful thing to wish for your own daughter and the daughters of others.

  12. Hear! Hear! And so eloquently put.

  13. Happy Birthday to your gorgeous girl. Moine is about going to turn 10 this year too – I hope she has just as good a birthday as L.

  14. My little boy is 2 years old now just yesterday I looked at him and I sort of had thi selfish wish that he can stay small and escape all the hurt life will still trow at him.

  15. Hear! Hear! Beautifully said, Charlotte. I hope my son will turn out to be one of those men who respect these beautiful women-to-be. He does love your L. Especially when she spends so much time playing cars with him:) Should we already talk about the dowry?

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