Since 2012, every March 21 the World s DayDown syndrome a date with which we want to give visibility to people with this genetic disorder so that they have the same opportunities to enjoy a full life as the rest of society. In Guiainfantil.com we want to support this day and we do it as best we know how, giving it a voice. This is the testimony of Cristina, a 23-year-old girl with a brother with Down syndrome.
I am Cristina, the oldest of three siblings. I am 23 years old, Pablo, the middle one (20 years old), and Arturo, the little one (15). I don't know if I always wanted to have a little brother or sister, because I was only 2 and a half years old when Pablo was born, but I imagine it would seem very cool to be able to play with someone every day and surely see him as a new doll. And this is how to receive my brother Pablo, a boy with Down's Syndrome.
My parents heard the news when he was born. Three weeks before giving birth, the doctors saw that she had a bowel problem and told them that there was a possibility that she had a trisomy, but it was not confirmed until she arrived in this world.
I don't remember anything because I was very young, but my father says that at that moment the world fell on him, that within all his ignorance and ignorance it was a tremendous downturn. He says that everyone gave them their support, as if it were catastrophic news, and he now, very wisely, says that the support had to be given to Pablo, that he is the one who endures all those strange looks full of ignorance every day.
How to explain all this to such a little girl? My mother had a story with a family of rabbits in which there was one that was born blue. Everyone loved him, but he was different, and that's how they made me understand that my brother was different, Pablo was a blue bunny.
For us, Pablo has been the engine of who we are now. He is the tranquility and the Feng-Shui of the house. He is a new philosophy, ideology and attitude. It is a radical change, always for the better. He is each and every one of my motivation letters for the jobs I apply to, he is my way of seeing life, because I always say it: if he were not who he is, I would not be who I am.
And so know my parents, my grandparents, their friends, mine, my other brother ... everyone !!! He has taught me the effort that things take, to fight for what you want, that giving up is not an option. And I know it sounds very nice, but not very credible, but that's the way it is, and that's what I like the most about him.
The first time I realized that I had these values at home was one day that I had a history exam the next day. I've always been a science person, so studying history was frustration after frustration and really wanting to throw in the towel.
It was lunchtime and we all went down to eat. Pablo began to peel an orange for dessert, he spent ten minutes trying without stopping! until we all started telling him how to do it, giving him advice and, of course, he got overwhelmed. He left, but the next day, he already knew how to peel an orange. I think that I, under the same circumstances, would not have succeeded. And there were all those values that I say at the beginning of the paragraph, with name and surname and inside my house.
Over the years you understand all this, but when I was younger it cost me more. We were only two and a half years apart (almost 3), so when we were kids we played a lot together. I loved to play to be his teacher and explain things about school and even help him do his homework. I have cried a lot seeing that he did not understand me, I was overcome by the frustration of wanting with all my might that he understand it at that very moment, but I kept trying until I got it.
As we have grown, each one has made his life more independently, as is normal. Still, we talk about girls, boys, friends, we ask for advice, we tell each other things and we care about each other. I'm not constantly on top of himAs some people may think, you neither need nor want it. We talk when we feel like it, we tell each other what's good for us, and we yell at each other when it's time.
But Arturo is also at home. It is true that he has been with us for more years, but he has also had that change and he is a really incredible person. I have seen her evolution and I remember her because she was older. There was a very long period of jealousy, of demanding attention, of saying 'Why Pablo this and I not?' Then another moment came, the one in which we went everywhere together.
Before I jumped more to certain comments, now I just think that it is the ignorance of not having someone so special around. Now I am able to ignore it, but it was not like that before. Countless times they have looked at us too much on the street, laughed as they passed, or made a comment without knowing that my brother had Down's Syndrome.
There is one particular situation that I will never forget. I was 9 years old and we were in a ball park celebrating the birthday of one of my friends, so we were a small group of about 8 or 9. I remember Pablo was going up the slides (he was slower than the rest and the others We used to take turns to help him) when some boys who were about 12 years old messed with him because he was slow and wouldn't let them pass. They started teasing and laughing at him!
My blood boiled and I faced them to stop them, but of course, they were older, so they began to laugh at me too and to hesitate. At that moment we all turned to them to defend Pablo (my brother) and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. We all smile and congratulate ourselves for supporting us!
Now when I was older, I also had a comment that hurts, but I have a very internalized answer: "I hope you have the opportunity one day to meet my brother." And that is what I have to say to all the readers of this article, do not be afraid of what seems different to us because it is really special.
I have had a lot of dealings with people with Down's Syndrome, as a volunteer, with friends of my brother, and I really have to say that they are a piece of light in your day to day. Each one is as it is with its characteristics, but all coincide in that purity that makes you feel truly human.
I would ask society to make the way easier for all these people who are or feel different. Everyone at some point in our life feels bad when we want to take the unconventional path, right? If we understand what it is to feel different, we will eliminate that word and that feeling from our lives forever.
Let's facilitate diversity and, above all, let's enjoy it and let the rest enjoy itn. Because in this context, what he achieves is also gigantic: being one more.
Author: Cristina Barrena García.
You can read more articles similar to What my brother with Down syndrome teaches me every day, in the Down Syndrome category on site.