I noticed the black pickup truck behind me in line. It was more gray than black and I was pretty sure that’s why the driver pulled into line.

My gold car had a strong beige look to it which is why I was in line. We had both decided to use the automatic carwash.

The next time I looked in my rearview mirror, I noticed the young girl. Her dad had allowed her to unbuckle her seatbelt and she was now standing next to him on the seat.

Even though my back window was filthy and his front window was dirty, her smile shined through. It was huge. She was bouncing with excitement.

Maybe this little girl has been through the carwash before. Maybe it was her first time. She knew it would be unique. Fun. Different. Exciting. Strange.

As I went through ahead of them, I tried to imagine how she’d be reacting to the swishing sounds. To the rush of the water against the windows. To the pounding of what looked like huge blue cutup rags as they washed the front, sides, and back of her dad’s truck.

What would she be thinking as she saw the water, the suds, and then the rags attack her dad’s truck? Would she notice the unique, clean, sweet smell? What questions would she ask? What comments would she make?

It was all about the bonding experience for the two of them. That’s what I loved. Knowing they were together. Having daddy-daughter time. This matters. It’s huge.

Sometimes, especially for kids, it’s the little things. The short, special times they get to spend with one parent or the other. Doing something. Experiencing something. Enjoying something. Being in the moment. Fully.

This dad and daughter will be able to talk about the carwash in the days that follow. They can share the memory. Remember the laughter. Remember the sounds, sights, and smells.

Parents must know their children to parent them well. Bonding is essential. Spending time together doing nothing. Doing something. Together. [callout]Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.[/callout]

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nmpkJill Savage and I share many ideas in our new book that will help you know your children well so you can parent them well. I hope you’ll check out No More Perfect Kids. Although you can buy it now, WAIT and buy the book between March 13-23 from our website (or anywhere else) and you’ll get FREE resources worth more than $100 from Hearts at Home (Jill’s ministry), Celebrate Kids, and Moody Publishers. What a deal! We’ll share details later here at the blog about how to get the resources.