Looking down at you makes me feel tall. I forget how small you are till you pretend I can’t keep up. Holding my hand and dragging me to play in between crinkly eyes and obnoxious giggles, screaming in between winded laughs as I chase you, once I catch you, I spin you, with over-dramatic words about how great you are at games. You smile, asking me to pick you up again just because I can.
You’re the little things; Hubba Bubba, light-up Sketchers, hopscotch, and the coloring books they have at self-checkout.
You’re the hot pink Barbie shoes you always wear while you ask me to play pretend.
You’re the feeling of wet grass on jeans, the stain you get after falling during tag.
You’re the Spanish I left behind for assimilation. And you’re the hug after telling me you don’t care about my broken words.
You’re the finger paintings I made on Christmas and Thanksgiving when I wasn’t old enough to get a job.
You’re the 9 to 5 shifts your mom works and the stress you know she has.
Seeing you look up to me isn’t what scares me. It’s not the weight of my words or the unguarded love you give me. It’s not your fragility that terrifies me. It’s your naïvety. It comes from a place of uncertainty and insecurity that makes you trust me. But the trust you give me is because you think I’m an adult, an adult that has answers, when in reality I’m just as much of a child as you.