A young lady in my family turned sixteen this week. She had a Sweet Sixteen party, which was, I understand, small and sweet – she treated her best friends at a restaurant.
The Sweet Sixteen party seems to be a new tradition. I’d never heard of it when I was that age. I was also far from sweet at that age, as my mother would affirm.
But I am all for traditions that celebrate a young person’s growth into adulthood. The bar and bat mitzvah, the quinceañera, and the confirmation, all go to assuring adolescents, anxious and acned as they might be, that they are valuable members of the community. Valuable in a way that has nothing to do with their schoolwork or accomplishments.
This is the age when kids can learn to drive and obtain a license, donate blood, receive an adult passport, leave school and earn a living in a full-time job, and in some places, get married.
Is there any reason we can’t give them the right to vote?