Janet Christie: I’m excited. It’s a rite of passage

A LETTER arrives for Eldest Child. Unusual. It looks official. I hold it up to the light. Nothing, and I can’t be bothered steaming it as it doesn’t look exciting. I leave it on the kitchen table for him.

A week on, it’s still there. I remind him again.

Finally he opens it. It’s his voter registration form. I’m excited. It’s a rite of passage. “All those people who fought for universal suffrage …” I say.

“Yeah ...,” he mutters, returning to FIFA 12. This is the boy who is adamant 16 and 17-year-olds should get a say.

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But another week passes in which I guard the form against ketchup and butter stains, and nag, er remind.

“Fill that form in now!”

“Can you not do it?”

“No! If you’re old enough to vote you’re old enough to fill in the form.”


Eventually I fill it in myself. All he has to do is sign.



“That’s not my name.”

“Yes it is.”

“Well, I don’t like that middle one. I’m crossing it out. And I’m not British. I’m Scottish. You’ve done this all wrong.”

“You know what to do then, don’t you.”

“I shouldn’t have to do this.”

Sixteen and 17-year-olds? Mr Salmond, you’re welcome to them. Independence? Only if their mums aren’t busy that week.