Erick, My Big Boy

Karenina Castaneda-Perea and Nairobi

When I arrived at the bedroom, Erick was teaching his brother how to play the guitar. He was so patient, making sure Alan completely understood how to put his fingers and to hold the guitar. Erick began to sing a song, and Alan was hitting the guitar as a drum. When they saw me, Erick had a big smile on his face and told me: “Alan asked me to teach him how to play the guitar!” That is one of the many things I appreciate about Erick.

But it is not always like that. One day, I was so busy between cooking, cleaning the house, working on the computer and trying to convince Alan to do homework. Alan didn’t want to work until I sat down next to him to explain how to do some letters. Erick told Alan: “I want to help you!”. Alan didn’t say anything, he didn’t even raise his head, he was just hitting the pencil on the table like it was a drum. Erick said again: “Could I help you Alan?”… Everything was quiet, only the pencil hitting the table. Then Erick so desperately said: “Why don´t you want me to help you?” And he cried while he was running to his bed.

Erick is passionate about learning new things. He is learning Japanese. He is taking a course about stop motion videos and how to make them. He loves baking, reading about space, history, science, chemistry, archaeology, etc. He is so intelligent. Once, while we were walking to the school, I taught him how to calculate equivalent fractions.

He loves music. All day he is singing. He sings while he is studying, while he is talking with somebody on the phone. Sometimes he makes a song with only a word. He wants to be a rock star.

Erick is so lovely and patient, but it is difficult for him to understand the situation. My husband and I try to explain to Erick that all people are different. Some are good at math, others are not; some can dance very well, others cannot, so Alan is different. It is hard for him to understand why his brother who is 4 years older than him can not tie shoelaces or take a bath by himself. Even though Erick knows that Alan has Down Syndrome, it is so difficult for an eight years old boy to understand why sometimes he has to take on a role of big brother.

Erick and Alan are a great team. They play together and they sing together. Frequently Alan chooses a song and tells Erick: “Erick sing Cariño song”. Five minutes later, Alan asks for another song. Erick reads books to Alan. And of course as all the brothers, sometimes they fight, too.

Erick is one of the most important people to me. He inspires me because even though, he is so young he is so patient with his brother. He always wants to help Alan. He always encourages Alan to try again and to do the things better. Instead of saying “Alan you can do it!”, Erick sings “Alan you can do it, can do it, do it, do it!”
By Karenina Castaneda-Perea

Picture of 2 boys sitting on top of a pile of books, playing and chattering
By Nairobi


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Erick, My Big Boy Copyright © 2022 by Karenina Castaneda-Perea and Nairobi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book