A few nights ago, we went to pick up my daughter and her Boyfriend from a party at a secluded house in the hills. It was 12.30am, dark and rainy, and not particularly nice to get out of the house. But we made the most of it on the journey through the narrow roads up a hill, chatting warmly about our life and the happiness. I was thinking back to my own dear mother’s many late night pick-ups, and she always had a smile on her face despite the inconveniences. I was determined to embrace the same mindset instead of being surly and resentful.

In no time, the 30-minute journey passed.

G and her Boyfriend were really grateful to be picked up by us. Their friends were standing on the roadside in the rain waiting for their taxis and looked at the pair of them enviously.

On the way back, she and her Boyfriend began singing along to the music we were playing, Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69.  Being a little tipsy, they sang loudly and lustfully, and their happiness reverberated in the car.

The song’s lyrics and G and her Boyfriend’s happy young voices reminded me of my Summer of 83, when I still lived at home with my parents in a little seaside town in Southern England, going to school on the train with my younger brother and spending our summer afternoons on the beach near our house.  Our friends and us would bring along a disposable barbecue set, cheap cider, something to smoke and often, a guitar and/or a ghetto blaster. Those years around the Summer of 83 were among the happiest years of my life, and I often looked back at them with great fondness.

The way I was:


Talking to my daughter and her Boyfriend about my Summer of 83, I felt the old happiness flooding back in me. The two young people were genuinely interested and curious, and we laughed and joked about my past.

“Happy days,” I said.

“This is ours,” G’s Boyfriend replied instantly, with feeling, and his joy was infectious. When we arrived home, we all were laughing and feeling extremely happy.

So this article is about the amazing things you get back when you give a part of yourself without expectations and with selflessness. Imagine how different the experience would have been if I had arrived to pick these two young people up feeling resentful about having to do this for them – the journey would have been miserable for all of us.

Big thanks to my Ma for showing me about selfless giving as a parent ❤