In Praise of Cabbies
My son’s tibia (shin) bone was broken last Thursday, after school, in a totally random soccer accident (shin against shin). That has resulted in four excruciating days of pain for him, though thankfully each less bad than the last. Even after your leg is in a cast, any kind of micro-movement that vibrates a broken tibia even in the slightest gives you pain. So getting into or out of bed, going to the bathroom, or god forbid getting into a cab, is very slow and often very traumatic.
He’s had to get into and out of 4 cabs since it happened. After the first, we figured out that carefully pulling him backwards, across the seat, while someone else hold his leg as still as possible, is the best approach. It hurts, of course, but not as badly as other systems.
Three out of these four times that we did this, the cabbies were infinitely patient and kind. They had no problem waiting, for as long as it would take, and they even offered to help. I was so grateful, because obviously it’s not good money to be waiting around for a crying 7-year-old to calm down and move one more inch.
But for one trip, to get the permanent cast put on at Mount Sinai, I had to miss the cab trip in order to be downtown for my Slate podcast, and my husband went without me. The cabbie volunteered to help, and as Johan put it, he was “infinitely strong and infinitely patient” and somehow managed to port my son backwards across the back seat in a perfect, smooth motion, that made him think he was levitating. It was the least painful of all the journeys.
Can I just take a moment now, and mention how grateful I am to all of these guys? These four cab drivers were all extremely kind and sympathetic men, any of whom would have immediately done whatever they could to help my son. And here’s the thing, I don’t even think I was particularly lucky; I think that’s actually pretty normal for cabbies. They are some really great people, willing and able to help out strangers all the time. That’s their job. And in a big, crowded city that might seem anonymous and pitiless, it’s a super comforting feeling to know they are there.