This feels a thing; is this a thing? It seems like something significant.
J-Bone is about to flee our nation’s borders, or at least he should be in the New Year when I take him along to Ireland. And this means he needs to get his little biometrics on. It’s time he became a citizen, one of those jet-setting people with passports that you read about in glamorous pamphlets.
It seems such a grown up thing to do. When I was a kid, we all travelled on my Dad’s big blue passport, although the only travelling we did was on the ferry to Ireland to see Nana. I didn’t get my face on a document like that until I was almost 17, after the summer trips to Ireland had stopped and we were taking our first family trip to the Continent. It was an Irish passport, as I’d felt the greater pull on the green and saffron in my blood than any allegiance to Her Britannic Majesty. It felt like a step into adulthood and a small claim for my own identity, printed in black and white with a ghoulishly white photo of Yours Truly snapped at a booth in Woolworths in Bangor.
Perhaps as a result of my experience, it feels quite odd to be registering J-Bird as an independent traveller. It feels a little as though he has been pulled out from under my protective, familial wing, and far too soon. I feel a little as though I’m giving him up to the powers-that-be, handing him over to some barcoded Behemoth – but that might be the result of watching too many conspiracy movies in the 1990s. It also seems a bit too suave, a three-year-old with a passport. It’s as though he should be sipping cocktails in a safari suit or chucking the keys to his Little Tike Cozy Coupe in the ball pool.
I’ve been told a few times that as he has a different surname to both me and his mother (because of this) I will need to bring his birth certificate when we travel as proof that I’m his parent and not abducting him. I can see why that’s necessary, but a mind as disorganised as mind does not need more things to remember on trips abroad.
There was lots of wriggling about as J-Bone’s photo was taken, but thankfully he doesn’t need to be too well-behaved for his headshot this time around. He’s very excited about going on an aeroplane to see his Nana. He probably won’t be so keen after he’s been kicking around Ringway for an hour or two, mind.
Rest assured, dear reader: I will be looking into travel tips for under-fives.