(210) 558.5917 jharris@gracepoint.org

The Car Doesn’t Wash Itself

washing a carMy earliest memories of being with my dad were in Phoenix, Arizona in the driveway of our house on Butler Ave.  I remember the joy of spraying the hose and the smell of Turtle Wax. My dad loved his car and took pride in caring for it himself.  I learned how to take pride in owning as well as the responsibility of ownership; but mostly I enjoyed being with my dad.  It didn’t seem like a chore rather an opportunity.  The task was not an obligation but it was a gift.

I don’t use a car wash service to this day.  I feel the pang of guilt if I pay to have my car washed at a drive-by that will never do it ‘right’ in the first place.  I still wash my own and I still take pride in the doing of it.  I often invite my kids to wash the car with me; and while I don’t get the sense they have the same reverie in the task, I can hope that they will look back and warmly remember the time spent.

Over Christmas my daughter was home from college and she rather sweetly, and I think knowingly, asked, “Daddy, will you help me wash my car?”  The car doesn’t wash itself, even at the full service car wash; but if someone else is doing it you have given away the lesson, the memory, the journey…the gift.