After two older brothers and two older sisters aged from 20 to 12 years old and, before that, Jean, a younger brother who died at birth, Maud, 10 years old. Living with Down Syndrome, Maud has sent her whole family on the adventure of their life. As her mum would say: “We didn’t choose it, but it’s one of the biggest adventures we are heading for! So, let’s go!”
At the end of June, Maud, 10 years old, is like all the other little girls of her age: she is waiting impatiently for the end of term. Four years since she started going to the CLIS (specialized class for disabled children) of Lamazou and, leaving in a taxi every morning at 8a.m. is far from being what the lively little girl would call fun. The activities are, however, not unpleasant, especially the dance class with the other kids of the school but that’s the way things are: Maud doesn’t really like school.
What make her really happy, is going off on holiday, with her backpack, to the countryside with her brothers and sisters. The idea of spending her days on the swing makes her heart spin and if she can also get the chance of admiring frogs and goldfish then her happiness is absolute.
So, when she gets home, on the great day they are leaving, Maud runs up and down the flat. There is a lot at stake: she is trying to win at hide-and-seek which she is playing with her big sister, Flavie, by climbing on the furniture while trying, if possible, not to break anything. Flavie takes care of her little sister the same as the others do, without paying any attention to the little one’s disease. Apart, maybe, from the preferential treatment she benefits from concerning the family I-Pad…
In the end it has become quite complicated for her parents to decide whether Maud has a particular status because of Down Syndrome or because she is the youngest of five children. So, yes, of course, Maud takes up more time, more attention and asks more from her family than the other children but all this energy taken is given back a hundred-fold through this active concentration of life.
A great adventure for the whole family that they all try to live up to daily. According to the confession made by her mother, things need to be taken one at a time in order not be put off by the various steps that lie ahead. First came the birth and the discovery of Down Syndrome, a couple of heart problems, infancy and the more recent step: the beginning of school.
In the end, the best teaching is that the fear of the beginning, even though it was legitimate because faced with the unknown, is not insurmountable. So, following Maud, let’s pick up our bag and… of we go!