What my four-year-old taught me about voting today

This morning we had the usual medley of noise in our household as my husband and I dashed about organising ourselves, our one-year-old twin sons and four-year-old.

RemainBut today’s routine was slightly different as both Jon and I were taking our daughter to nursery via the polling station.

It’s EU Referendum day here in the UK, which feels like the most important vote I will ever cast.

As she watched me getting her clothes out, Miss M sat on the bed and fired a barrage of questions at me about why we were both going with her and what we were doing.

She knew we were going to the school she will be starting in September as it’s our polling station, but wanted to know more.

I stopped and sat down with her and asked: “What does voting mean?”

She said:

“It’s when everyone puts their hands up to say something.”

That’s it. Out of the mouths of babes.

Voting is exactly that – when you put your hand up to say something.

Today I chose to put my hand up to say I believe we are stronger in Europe.

When I marked my X on the paper, with Miss M swinging her legs on the chair in the school hall in front of me while she waited for us, I said something.

I said I want my voice to be heard. I feel privileged to live in a country where I am able to vote, and I’ve voted for us to Remain a member of the European Union.

But it’s not just up to me. Around 46.5m people are entitled to take part in the vote and I hope the awful rain we are experiencing today doesn’t stop people from getting out and voting.

It’s only the third nationwide referendum in UK history. I’m fearful for the result and what it could mean.

But choosing to sit on my hands and not put them up would have been worse.

If only we could all remember what we were taught when we were younger about respecting each other, taking turns and speaking up when asked.

Thank you for reminding me Miss M of the importance of saying something. I hope the future I’ve voted for today is one that materialises.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 23 June 2016.

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