The story about my older brother Robert

Robert Espinoza

My older brother, Robert, was born with Down syndrome in 1977. My mother always tells us how she knew something was different while she was pregnant with Robert. The doctors offered her testing, but she refused because she knew no matter what she was going to love her child. It did not make a difference to her. The day he was born the doctors gave my mother very little hope. They told her he would never walk or live any type of normal life.
Forty-five years later he’s won gold medals for track in the Special Olympics, has played countless amount of basketball games, is always at the top of his bowling league, will never refuse the opportunity to rip up a dance floor, and speaks two languages fluently. He sets time apart to listen to music in his room, color and enjoys writing. He’s the funniest, most stubborn person I know and he’s helpful, loving, and sweet in the most purist form.
I never knew my brother had Down syndrome. I just knew he was my big brother, my first best friend. I am the only one that always knows what he’s trying to say. He’s always looking out for me, always making sure I am taken care of. I never treated him any differently because he’s not different from me. He’s sarcastic like us, he’s nosey like us, and can dish it just as much as he takes it. We have three other siblings, and we all treat him the same.
The past 40 years of my life he’s taught me not to take life too seriously, that if you’re stubborn enough you’ll get your way, to make time for the things you enjoy, that it’s okay to love the Dodgers, and the Padres, you can eat dessert for breakfast, Zack is cooler than Slater, it is possible to know every word to a Seinfeld episode, and which celebrity couple has broken up and gotten back together the most. I want everyone to know that people with Down syndrome are a community with so much love for each other and for others. They desire normalcy, reciprocated love, and to be treated as equals. Just like my brother, they are the most beautiful people I’ve ever experienced.

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  1. Teresa Schneider on March 21, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story about your brother. He is amazing! He’s just like everyone, I don’t see a difference. I worked with Down syndrome kids, they enjoy life more than me. They taught me a lot !

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