A fond memory I have of my childhood is when my mom would surprise me and my younger brother, Greg, with a trip through the car wash. It was always such a pleasant, wonderful surprise when she pulled our family station wagon into the full service wash and asked for the "hot wax". What followed was 2-3 minutes of childhood bliss. I'm happy to report that some things never change, and my kids appreciate a trip through the car wash as much as I did.

This past weekend, I decided to take my 6-year and 18-month old for a quick trip through the car wash and rinse the rain spots off the family truckster. As I waited in line, I peeked over at Brayden, the 6-year old, whose eyes opened wide and he peered out the window. "Is this a stay-in wash?", he asked excitedly. I joked, and told him "No, you have to sit on the hood.". He didn't get it, so I told him, "Yes. We stay in the car.". The smile on his face was golden, and I heard a "yesssss" sneak out as he focused his attention back out the window.


Lilah, the baby, had no idea what kind of fun I was taking her through. But when we pulled into the car wash bay and the sound of the mechanical power washers started hitting the car and hosing down the backseat window inches from her face, a loud laugh came from her. Excitedly, she pointed at the window, and with her best vocabulary attempted to explain to me, "Daddy, this is the coolest thing ever! Look at all the water and the bubbles being shot at us! I've never seen anything so cool in my life!". Or, something like that.


When I was a kid, my brother and I would press our faces up to the windows as the dryer-guy would wipe down our side of the car. We thought it was so funny when they would play along and act as though they were scrubbing our faces through the window. I suggested that Brayden try the same thing. He did, and the dryer-guy obliged. But in his excitement, the kid closed his eyes and missed out on the full effect of the stunt. Next time I'll coach him better.

I have to say, it's the best five bucks I spent in a long time. I was able to find a unique way of entertaining my kids.But I also shared one of my favorite childhood experiences with the next generation. It's really nice to know that some things never change, including a child's priceless smile while driving through the car wash.