My name is Esmeralda Lilah Gutierrez but I like to be called Esme for short. I am 12 years old and I'm in 7th grade. When I turned 6 years old the day after my birthday my mommy had a baby boy. My baby brother Ezekiel was my birthday gift, he was born with Down syndrome. At first I didn't know what that meant and I was surprised and scared. But then my mommy told me that Down syndrome is ok to have and that Ezekiel was special and just a little different. She also told me that people with Down syndrome can learn and do everything and anything they want, it just takes them a little longer. I have met a lot of people and gone to a lot of great events supporting my baby brother and all his friends. I will be posting videos about books, my experience with my brother, interviewing other families with members with Down syndrome and some new friends I've made with Down syndrome and other cool stuff. If you have any questions for me please email me at CVDSF2017@gmail.com and I will be posting the responses here. Thank you.
My mom and I, joined 50 other authors in a two year project. This book is a collection of stories from individuals with Down syndrome, their siblings, advocates, parents, inclusion, community engagement, loss, etc. This book is available on Amazon and all proceeds go to the national organization of Nothing Down.
Here's the link if you want to purchase your own.
On March 13, 2020, a Stay At Home order was made, by Governor Newsom. That was the last day I went to school. We all knew that we may have needed to stay home from school for a bit, so all our teachers were saying to get all our stuff ready to take home. I didn’t know what to think, what that meant, or thought was going to happen. End of the day came, and it was Visual and Performing Arts Friday. So I went to drama class, and had fun there! After drama, the end of the day, we had to go back to our classes, get our things, and say bye to everybody just in case we stayed home. I didn’t get to see my best friends, so I just said bye to my teacher.
On that weekend we learned that we were staying home for 2-3 weeks. I was fine at first, thinking,"Okay, well a little time off of school isn’t THAT bad”. But over time we found out that we were staying home for a month. Everything was changing, everyday something new. I later found out we were staying home for the rest of the school year...for the rest of my 5th grade I would be home.
Quarantine? Sheesh, is quarantine long or what!? First week was pretty fun, but then you just start missing your work, school, friends and family!!! Anyways, during quarantine I got to catch up on A LOT, like watching shows, cleaning, and finishing things that I had started. During quarantine my brother Ezekiel and I have been playing and working on our school work. We were introduced to ZOOM. I have been doing them with my class once a week just to talk, and catch up on things. Ezekiel does ZOOM as well! Yep, all his therapies are virtual too!
During this time I was not able to go to Louisiana for a Down syndrome conference. I missed my last play in elementary and my entire softball season has been postponed (I didn’t even get to play one game.) But I was able to finish the Harry Potter series (that’s a lot of reading.) Even though I’m sad that I’m limited in what I can do, I know I’m helping my family, brother and friends stay safe. I’ve been blessed; my parents are still working, I have a pool, reading materials, food, snacks and lots of other things to keep me busy, especially virtual paint parties.
Did you know my brother and my aunt Yanira Regla were in an article in the Desert Sun on Essential Workers? Unsung Heroes': Valley's essential workers armed with masks and fear during coronavirus pandemic (since she is Ezekiel’s Respite care worker.) I don’t really know what a Respite care worker is, but I know that it is somewhat like a babysitter. My mom really likes the help though. You can visit UCPIE’s website www.UCPIE.org for more information on Respite care.
So I end with asking everyone to stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing.
If you have any questions for me please send me an email to email@example.com and I will respond as soon as I can.
Picture credit: Taya Gray, photographer and reporter from The Desert Sun.
In 2019, I submitted a blurb about my relationship with my baby brother Ezekiel. And guess what? it was published in a book called "Sincerely, with Love." My very first book!!! Do you have a copy of it yet? you can buy it here.
Book, "Sincerely, With Love" https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1691883115/ref=ewc_pr_img_1?s
Hey guys, I got to interview Zoe Gregor. She is the new Board Member and advocate for Ezekiel's Gift Of Love. She is in lots of activities and keeps really busy. Stay tune for more videos. Love, Esme
I was so excited to interview the co-star of the film, Learning To Drive, Connor Long. He was super nice. I got to take a selfie with him and even go to dinner at Mario's with him. One of the things he said in his speech was "don't limit me or poeple with disabilities." One of the best parts about him is that he is very funny. I hope you liked the interview and thanks Connor for meeting with me, Love Esme.
Here is the list of the books that I talked about in my video.
If you would like a book marker we have a few left so email us with your address and we will send it to you.
Please let me know of any other good books.
I got to learn Merry Christmas song in sign language and my brother Ezekiel helped me with the video. He likes the jingle bells in his hat. Love, Esme
My baby brother and I