How I Learned To Be A Better Parent To My Adult Daughter On A Cross Country Road Trip

Sometimes you just have to trust that the bulk of your work is done.

jesscio
4 min readAug 14, 2021

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Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

As I have written about more than a few times already on Medium, I recently returned from a two-week cross-country road trip with my 22-year-old daughter. We drove from LA to NYC with stops along the way. Just the two of us in a mid-sized SUV packed with her college belongings and our luggage for the trip.

It was a journey we had fantasized about when she moved into her college dorm on the West Coast. Then Covid hit, she put her stuff into a storage unit and ended up finishing her final year online from an apartment in Brooklyn. But we still had to get her stuff. So, when things opened up again and we could coordinate the needs of the whole family, she and I set off on our trek.

We flew to LA, spent some days, then set out on the road. First stop Joshua Tree. There were lots of other stops planned after that, but this is not a travelogue, it’s rather a story about how spending two weeks in a car helped me understand my adult child in a new way. Specifically, that she is a fully realized and capable person. I knew that. I did. But traveling side-by-side for 14 days forced me to recognize that the way I sometimes interacted with her did not…

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jesscio

Novelist. NYC. Debut novel: Sometimes A Soldier Comes Home out now! Order online where ever good books are sold. jesscio100@gmail.com