Here I am sitting looking at the screen thinking about a whole load of things to talk about.
My middle son turns 17 this week, my second youngest daughter 15. They make me smile and laugh every day and burst with pride. And as they get older and even more clever and find their own talents they are so interesting, and I can’t wait to hear their craic every single day.
On the day the middle son turns 17 my eldest son will cast his first vote. We have it planned, he, me and his dad will go to the polling station together, with his Godfather. I will definitely take photos, and I will promise not to put them on Facebook and then beg him to let me!
What an election for him to have his first vote in. It’s like people who cast their first vote for the Good Friday Agreement. You don’t forget the year. You don’t forget why you voted that way. Son, today you are part of history.
Although what that history will be is anyone’s guess. Part of progress to a better, more equal, devolved government? Part of the end of the structures of the Good Friday Agreement as we have known them? The re-introduction of direct rule? The introduction of joint authority? All of these are the short-term scenarios and questions.
The medium-term scenarios are just as interesting. Will Ireland north and south come to agreement on a joined-up approach to Brexit? Will this very new and interesting emergence of a debate on a united Ireland continue and grow? What is going to happen to a Unionism that is in a complete crisis of identity and leadership? All of these questions relate and inter link.
And they relate to every single part of our lives. Our civil rights and our economic and social rights. Will victims and survivors so desperate for answers be afforded the dignity of a proper compliant process? Will we as Irish citizens in our own country be afforded the dignity of equality? Will our health service transform to meet the needs of our most vulnerable? Will our education system ensure no child is privileged over another?
All of these questions and scenarios are affected by our votes this week and the results that pour in. We will have contributed on this polling day to the scenarios and answers that emerge. Apathy has no place this week.
But it does not stop once we leave the polling station. In the coming weeks and months we all have investment in ensuring that talks and agreements, or non-agreements, include our voices, our understanding, our hopes and our rights.
Rights are interconnected too. A family of Gaeilgeoirs whose uncle was assassinated by the British army cannot be asked to park one set of rights over another. Equally that family cannot have their loved ones subjected to the harsh winters of Tory bedroom taxes and welfare cuts which might be imposed with direct rule. We must ensure we acknowledge that these are equal, not competing, rights. We must not be divided over who might gain, and who might not, in talks. We can all win, if we stand together. In particular, on issues of legacy and language rights. They do not stand in competition.