The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

In Our Quest To Want The Best For Our Family, We Sometimes Forget The Most Important Things We Are Doing For Them …
February 6, 2020, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Childhood, Daddyhood, Family, Love

A few weeks ago, I got a black cab from Camden Market back to work in Shoreditch. As usual, I struck up a conversation with the cabbie and somehow we got on to the subject of our kids.

Out of nowhere, he said he felt he was a huge disappointment to his children. He wouldn’t be able to leave them much when he died and he believed he had totally wasted his life.

I was slightly taken aback but he obviously needed to talk so I asked him why he said that.

He replied he regretted so many decisions he had made through his life. Opportunities he had let go because he was too scared to grab them and now he has nothing because his whole life is spent putting food on the table rather than building something more valuable for his family.

I told him that I thought putting food on the table of your family instead of running off to follow selfish pursuits was one of the most honourable things you could do. I also reminded him that if he didn’t take an opportunity when it was there, he must have had good reason for it and shouldn’t be hard on himself.

Lastly I reminded him that nothing is written in stone and good things can always happen when you least expect it to which he burst into tears and repeated he had wasted his life.

We chatted some more until he came to my drop off point. He had calmed down a bit by then but was obviously still very emotional.

He didn’t want to charge me because he said he’d been a “silly bugger” to which I told him he would only be that if he didn’t charge me.

After paying the bill, I said something I didn’t expect to say myself.

I asked him if he wanted a hug.

He paused for a moment and said he would.

So at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, we both got out the cab and we hugged for a good 30 seconds on the corner of Clifton Street.

I told him his kids loved him and valued what he did for them far more than anything he could leave them and maybe he needs to talk to them about it rather than hold it in and blame himself for things he hasn’t done wrong.

He looked at me, wiped his eyes, told me he needed that and said thank you – to which we shook hands and off he went.

The whole journey probably was no more than 20 minutes but it has deeply affected me. Maybe it’s because I don’t want anyone to feel that way about themselves. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of a very personal and sad time in my life. Or maybe it’s because I thought that could have been me if I’d not had a bunch of luck along the way.

I wish I got his name.
I wish I could check up on him.
But most of all, I wish Mr Cab Driver feels better about who he is and what he’s done because a man who works to take care of his family is worth so much more than a man who gives his kids everything except love, encouragement and time.

This parenting thing is hard work.
Worth every second, but hard work.
So if you are one or want to be, don’t be hard on yourself. What you do is amazing already.


Just to be clear, the point of this post isn’t for me to talk about my [occasional] acts of decency – which is why I’ve removed the ability to leave comments – but to remind everyone its good to be open and talk, so if you’re carrying a weight of worry on your shoulders – or know someone who is – try and open up about it. I know there will be lots of people who will do what I hopefully did for Mr Cab Driver. Ta.

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