Last term before Christmas my son was picked on in and out of school.
It hurt his heart to walk to a place that he had always thrilled to go to.
What hurt him most was that people who he thought were his close friends made fun of him.
‘GAY-briel’ they taunted ‘GAY-briel is a big BABY’.
This was a hard nose smashing against life’s window for us as his parents.
‘Are you a baby?’ we asked him, my husband and I.
‘Of course not!’ he replied.
‘Then they are lying. You can ignore lies’ we tell him.
This week the Easter weekend arrived rather earlier than the school holidays. There was the customary Easter bonnet parade to prepare.
My husband picked up a few odds and sods from the local dollar shop. Gabriel surveyed the constituent pieces and gave me my instructions …
‘Mum I need you to put this here, that there and THESE’ he waves a hand left and right.
‘Perfect’ he says of the end result which he joyfully wears to school.
On arrival one of his little adversaries says: ‘GAY-briel – your hat has FLOWERS on it’.
Gabriel looks over his shoulder briefly on his way to the bookshelf.
‘Yes’ he says ‘it does.’