For anyone who doesn’t know (and if you’re British, you have NO EXCUSE) today is an election day in the UK – it’s local and European elections.
As the big elections are next year, the canvassing this year has been fairly visible, as you’d expect. And so, Isaac’s seen quite a few posters, as well as all the people with “different coloured flower badges” (I think he means rosettes!) coming to talk to mummy. Today, he asked me what voting was. The conversation went something like this…
Isaac “Mummy, what’s voting?”
Me “Voting is when all the grown ups get to choose who they would like to be in charge of things”.
Isaac “I think…me!”
Sad as he was to hear that three year olds were ineligable, he actually got really excited. He wanted to know why we had to choose, so I tried (seriously, the boy isn’t three until Monday. You try explaining!) that all the different people thought different things were important, and so we had to choose which one wanted to do the best things. I think he got a little confused, as he seems to think that the biggest policy of the Green’s is to make the trees in charge of everything, but he more or less got it.
And he was excited! Hubby and I took him to the polling station, and he was bouncing and spinning around. He wanted to help mummy make a cross in the right box, and he really, really wanted to put my voting papers in the box for me. Had he not been so cute, I suspect the officials might have been a little hacked off, but actually, I was really proud.
I’m proud because at a young age, he gets it. He understands that the littlest things we do make a huge difference. And that it’s really important we stand up and make our voices heard. I know adults who don’t get that. And after all, that’s why people suffered and died for universal suffrage – they believed that we all have a duty and a right to be heard.
Today, in his own, tiny, occasionally crazy way, my little man made his voice heard. He helped mummy as she decided who she thought would do the best job for us. It’s the only election he’s been alive for so far, but I think a family tradition might have been born. Because this is what I want him to know – he can awalys, always make a difference. And so can you.