My name is Thomas Wells, Services Intern at the Down’s Syndrome Association. I am the youngest of three at 25 with Lucy (26) Catherine (29) and Mum and Dad making up the Wells clan. Lucy has Down’s syndrome and this was our Christmas.
Having Lucy home for me as a sibling completely changes the dynamic. The biggest change is that her love of slapstick style comedy gives me free reign to be increasingly childish. But I am also on guard to make sure she is not bored. Therefore I dusted off the Wii and set up the dance mat. The Wii is a fantastically accessible machine that enables Lucy to get involved. What followed was an exhausting couple hours of me shouting out “left, left, down, right, no your other right!!”, in order to help her process the information and stamp her foot on the right button. I discovered that day that dance games are great levellers as it turns out it is not just guys with DS that have co-ordination difficulties, anything above the easiest settings and my sister and I were equal in our 99% failure rate! Needless to say she enjoyed watching me making an idiot of myself and the ruckus drew in my dad and so it increasingly became a family activity.
Christmas day is a quieter affair now we are all grown up with lie-ins taking precedence over early present opening; however Lucy will only let us get away with it for as long as she wants to stay in bed. So at 10:30 there was a knock at my door with the order to get out of bed swiftly followed by her coming in and physically shaking me into action. Lucy makes no qualms about the fact that Christmas is really all about the number and size of presents with her name on. So when it came time to open the largest present under the tree she ripped the paper off with wild abandon and excitement. During the day there was eating and film watching in equal measure with ‘Avengers’ being a firm favourite.
The day after Boxing Day Lucy decided enough was enough and it was time to go back to her friends. Living in supported living has been amazing for Lucy because she is first and foremost a fiercely independent 26 years old who loves living with her friends. Family time is therefore generally kept to a minimum hence only being with us for 5 days. We know that this desperation to get back to her friends is not a lack of love for us but an abundance of love of her own life with her friends.