• Michelle Vernal

Hate is a Strong Word

Over dinner last night I asked our youngest son how he was getting on with his maths. It’s not his favourite subject – he takes after his mother in that department. His reply was that it wasn’t going very good and that his teacher hates him. His older brother piped up to say, “Hate is a very strong word. How about she intensely dislikes you?” This show of insightfulness came from the boy who just the other week wrote, ‘Daniel is gay.’ in the dust on the side of our car. I was standing on the roadside chatting to a friend who had a strange look on her face and when I followed her gaze I spotted his mature scribblings. I’d been cruising the streets of Oxford with that proclamation on the side of my car. Of course being the adults at the table, Paul and I told Daniel his teacher doesn’t hate him; he just needs to stop being disruptive in class and he won’t get told off. To which our son said that he simply can’t help his disruptiveness and that he needs help. He doesn’t; an elephant tranquilizer would do the trick.

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