A father’s inventions


Aurore Cahon

Family Association La Main à l’Oreille – Responsible of the Antenne Normandie


I am the one who ‘administers’. Papers, times of appointments, comings and goings, the CMP (Medical-Pedagogical-Centre), school, administrative conflicts.


In my day-to-day life, frequently difficult, there are also moments of great poetry in which time comes to a halt, in which there is a presence of the sublime.


When he was four-years-old, Eliott had a very peculiar stereotypy, rotating his right arm from his back like a big windmill, the arm rigid and straight like an ‘I’.


And he turned and turned, until he dislocated the arm.

He did it automatically, without any expression on his face. Only a fixed grimace, the teeth clenched.


His father had a brilliant idea. He ordered him a gymnastic baton, one of those with a long multicolour ribbon.

Eliott immediately took an interest in it. He did circles for us, spirals, long multicolour trails behind him in the sky. The difference is that his face was lit up with pleasure, a big smile set off by his sparkling eyes.

Every time he needed his ribbon, he took it.


Later the game developed. He needed us to hold the other end of the ribbon.

He did the dance, had the baton, and we had to hold the end, the tip of the ribbon.

He led us to the bottom of the garden, running, and took pleasure in turning round to see if we had stayed ‘attached’ to him.

He laughed, letting his beautiful rainbow flutter behind him.


His stereotypy disappeared, although this was not the aim.


Later, he preferred to prolong the link with us, running with his ribbon and we holding the end.

A kind of great, soothing freedom.

A great and very important playful moment.


Eliott is with us.


Translation: Howard Rouse