As The Wind Blows

That’s what our daughter says.

When she first landed in Hawaii, we enjoyed our daily chats with her.

Jody and I asked her about the phone calls: too much, too little, how are you doing? We wanted to be present for her and yet also give her the space she needed.

We knew we were at the end of our daily calls when three weeks later we disrupted her at breakfast. Dining at IHOP with newly found college friends, she left the table to answer our call.

“Oh, yeah, so you don’t need to call me anymore,” she said.

“Wait. Wait. Wait,” Jody and I responded. “We expect at least a weekly phone call.”

It took Crystel a few weeks to remember whether it was a Wednesday or Thursday that we were going to call. That made for a fortuitous two phone calls in a week. The parents were being weaned from adult daughter contact.

Facetime worked the best. At least we could see her, study her face, discern if anything was off, and she could make faces at us in the camera and use it to check her brow line.

We had been asking her the same questions, week after week. How is school? How are your roommates? How is the dining hall? What plans do you have for this weekend? Our weekly conversations changed the first time she used the line, “As the wind blows.” I felt like she was putting us off. Dismissing us.

She had been planning an outing with her roommates to swim with the sharks. It didn’t happen because as the wind blows.

I thought she was being disrespectful. I told her that we needed more engagement from her. She needed to add to the conversation.

After the phone call, when I had time to cool down, I realized that what she was saying was true. Isn’t that the way of most college students and young adults – as the wind blows. And didn’t I embrace spontaneity? Encourage her to follow her joy?

Personally, I love being in the moment, being able to go inside to determine my path or action. I phrase it as introspection.

We’ve learned to anticipate the changing winds. She’s made friends, adventured to the northern parts of Oahu, flew to Maui for a weekend, snorkeled, cliff jumped, and learned to surf. She did eventually swim with the sharks.

Crystel requested and received a permit for solo hiking on the island of Kauai for the first week in January. Though she explained that maybe she would explore the island with a friend and do day excursions, she didn’t know yet.

Letting go of our adult child is a kite in the wind. I’m proud of her. A bit nervous for her. And hope the winds always blow strong and true.

“Ua pa mai ka makani…” / “The wind has been blowing…

This entry was posted in Adult children, Parenting and tagged , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

1 thought on “As The Wind Blows

  1. What a lovely place for your daughter to study. I have been to all of those islands mentioned and they are surprising and inspirational to this Midwesterner. Good for you for giving her some space.

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