My 3 year-old son has been sick, but well enough yesterday to sit in the stroller while I pushed him around the lake near our house. After we got back, he said that I was right, the fresh air had made him feel better and he wanted to try playing outside for a while. I agreed and he, noting the occasional wind gusts, decided it was perfect kite flying weather. I tried to explain to him that in order to fly the kite, we needed sustained wind, not just a few gusts. I reminded him that we usually only fly kites at the beach, where there is plenty of wind. His kite-flying mission wasn’t deterred. He unwound lots of string and tried running with the kite, and then had me try. Nothing worked, yet I could sense his little mind already had its gears cranking. He excitedly ran back into the garage and got out his stomp rocket. As an aside, if you haven’t ever played with a stomp rocket, you should (whether you have a kid at home or not), because they are a blast. So the stop rocket has a chamber you stomp on and it blasts a small rocket (piece of plastic with a rubber stopper) into the air. The harder you stomp, the higher the little rocket goes. My son initially stomped on the device without the rocket trying to propel the kite into the air. When that didn’t work, he exclaimed proudly that he had another idea. He stuck the kite to one of the rockets and stomped. I thought this was genius, particularly given that he’s only 3 years old. Unfortunately, the rocket flew out and left the kite on the ground. So, he had me try knowing that since I’m bigger, I could attach it to the rocket more securely and also hopefully get it higher in the air. Again exclaiming that he knew it was going to work: “This is going to work! I just know it!” I tried and it did take the kite up a little bit in the air, but it definitely wasn’t flying. I explained again that we really just needed more wind and that maybe we should play something else. He looked at me without hesitation and said, “Go get the leaf blower, that makes plenty of wind! That will do it for sure!”
We never did get the kite in the air yesterday, but he didn’t give up. He was worn out and needed to rest, so we went inside.
I wish that I still had that unwavering optimism. I wish I had that ability to pursue a goal and meet failure with one new (and clever) idea after another. It’s an amazing thing about being a parent, really, seeing things like this through a child’s eye. He hasn’t learned about math and physics and therefore is not restricted by what isn’t scientifically possible. His imagination isn’t curbed by what shouldn’t work. He just keeps trying to reach his goal and is excited to try new things to see what may work.
I am reminded that sometimes we need to be more childlike in our endeavors. Now, I’m not advocating wildly chasing unrealistic goals. But, I am suggesting that when we set our attainable and achievable goals, we should think outside of the box and not be so afraid try new ideas and not be so confined by fear of things not working. I am also suggesting that we never give up hope. When something isn’t working, we should keep trying new things. I am imagining that I probably have some of you wondering how this relates to thyroid disorders. It relates because so many people have talked to me about having thyroid disorders and trying various treatments without success. If that’s you, keep trying. Find a new doctor, request more tests, try new medications, try new foods (or eliminate some), and keep researching things that may work. Instead of approaching a new medication or treatment with worry and concern, tell yourself “This has to work! I just know it!” It’s amazing what positive self-talk can do for all of us. Thyroid disorders are complex and not often solved by just taking a pill. Healing our bodies and enabling them to perform at their best requires a lot of positivity and optimism…as much as that of a 3 year old child trying to fly a kite without any wind.
By Blythe Clifford