You were so small then, your feet barely reaching the ground when we seated you on the chair. Your bare feet would dangle several inches above the ground, your mud-caked toes wiggling. You laughed at everything, smiled all of the time.
"Look," you would cry happily, thrusting an old, dried out flower in my face, the crunchy petals cracking as they touched my face. I took it tenderly, and pinned it to my shirt. All for that smile of glee. I would wear it for a week or so; until you forget that you were the one to give it to me.
Then, a little later, when we would go to the creek, you'd run up to the water and squeal as it tickled your toes. You would jump up and down, you sandals slapping the little pebbles that framed the stream. You would scoop the clear water up in your little hand, and throw it up in the air, the tiny droplets getting lost in a sea of smiles.
But you were too small for some things. You thought you were so much more, always. You were always sure that you were older; that you were ready for whatever life threw at you. But you weren't ready, and I knew that. To hear your cries and see your tears broke my heart, but no means no, and that can never change.
It was all for the best. And as you got older, some things did become acceptable, remember? No, of course not. Because as you got older, you wanted more things. Flowers no longer satisfied your hunger for knowledge, your thirst for adrenaline. It was no longer a rush to go sit by the creek, just laughing and playing. You craved something deeper, and you set your mind to find it. The older you grew, the more things you wanted, and the more things you were told you were not allowed to have.
And now? Now it's all "I hate you", and "you don't understand me". Now I am forced to stare at your white-washed door whenever I want to talk to you. Now I am forced to whisper "okay…" very softly, and back away. Now I find myself all alone in an empty house, staring at the chairs you once sat in, listening to you scream at me, wondering to myself how it was possible that once upon a time, your legs weren't so firmly placed on the floor, and you couldn't look around you.
You were so small then. You thought small, too, simple, and ordinary. It was so straightforward. You were satisfied by what you got. Now you need that much more. Now you need whatever it is you can't have. Now you need whatever it is you can't get.
So if you ever want to find out why when I look at you I can't talk, come down to the old creek. Walk with me into the tiny trickle with your sandals on, and laugh once again. Accept the flowers I have around the house. Smile at me once in a while. Maybe take your feet from off of the floor, and turn your head.
Maybe you'll see something that was once there, and now isn't. Or maybe, you'll see nothing, and just walk away.
I just know that once upon a time, you were my darling child. You were the joy in my life. And I want you to know that you still are. But I also want you to know that I was once the joy in your life, too. And that one… If I'm still yours?
That's for you to figure out.