It was all or nothing, and I wanted nothing to do with you.
It was only instinct that I fear you with, with your fabricated smile and masked appearnace.
While others laughed in a party game, I wept in a ball pit.
While they jumped for a high five, I dove for cover.
Your facade may have woked on them, but I was convinced that you were all out to get me.
So, I ran.
I avoided dinners, birthday parties, theme parks.
Any event that may have given you an opportunity to see me was out of the question.
I lived this way for years, fearing your filthy gloves and oversized heads.
I would never give you the chance to get to me.
Although I ran, you eventually caught up to me where I though I'd be safe.
A family cruise is exciting enough, but my blood ran cold when I heard you were onboard.
Despite my best efforts, we finally met face to face as I was heading to dinner.
It was just my brother, me, a variety of parade performers, and you.
I did not know how I was supposed to stay strong when confronted with a crowded elevator
and an oversized Shrek character.
I had two choices: break down into tears and sneak out at the next possible stop,
or stand my ground.
Not give you the satisfaction of seeing that I was petrified inside,
but instead pretend to be just another adoring child.
So, I stood.
Three floors, five handshakes, and one laugh later, I had finally seen the light.
All this time, you were never following me to do harm.
You had always been there just to try and make me smile.
For years I had run away from you, and I had finally swept aside the fear to see that
you were always there to make me happy.
It then became a race to make up for lost time, and truly connect with you
the way you had been trying for years.
It was all or nothing, and now I wanted nothing more than to thank you all.