& the children
We have unusually accurate numbers for the generations. The oldest of the three nephews is about twelve, born when the mother was 26. Grandpa had her at 23. Baby boomers indeed started the demographic contraction. For the first time in American history, the American people stopped having kids. The abundant three-child family we see is therefore very unpopular. The effective one-child policy is plunging numbers below the two children per couple required to stabilize the population.
The story suggests that feminism never happened. Still, America looks unchanged; & remember, America stands for democracy as such. The old are still on trial, judged by the young. Technology & comfort still are the twin guides to the identification of the good with the pleasant. There is no mention of God or church. & hatred of hatred is still the reigning ideology. Maybe what is called feminism is just a step in the march of democracy.
The daughter says her father never understood she was a girl; he taught her baseball, which is all he knew; then womanhood came & they were forever separated. Once she went to college, she stopped going back home. She never wondered whether she was causing her folks pain: She maybe felt she owed them nothing. Her husband is very gentle about the fact that maybe her father has a point.
The woman is a successful web designer for a sports network. Her husband built her an automated computerized house that caters to their every needed & most of their whims. You suspect he did this to save her a lot of work & worry concerning the children, so that he could have sex with her. Wealth is supposed to make enjoying life easier…
She has no time for her husband; he sells his house prototype & is becoming a national success; he wants her with him, to pride in him & to celebrate with him; but she is too afraid to leave the house where her children live. She makes you wonder how children even survived in previous generations, when there was no technology to help raise this fear of death to sublime heights… Is she worse at parenting then her parents were? Was she a better kid than her kids are?
The wife has wealthy America for an ally in this war. There, they play baseball without keeping score, all games end in ties, every batter hits, there are no strikeouts, & there are no injuries. Speech therapy does not require speaking, which might hurt self-esteem. Children are never spanked or berated, they hear three compliments for every insult, & never hear the word no! The husband then is pitcher. The grandparents are his only ally.