One of the family secrets that I did not know until recently — my mother used to call us: “The Shit Show.”
It sounds kinda terrible, at first, but it perfectly fits us, and her.
My parents had 5 kids in 6 years (Irish Catholic) before disposable diapers. For nearly a decade they had at least one pooper in the house and for 6 years they had 2 or 3 kids constantly crapping their pants.
Dad was teaching, writing and getting a Phd, so he wasn’t much help. Mom was always incredibly positive, upbeat and full of energy. But she did not suffer fools, and swore like a teamster.
It wasn’t until after she died that her youngest sister told me about the nickname, as in: “Over martini’s we used to ask your mother how was the family?” and she’d say: ‘It’s still a shit show.”
That younger sister recently passed, and I won’t get to hear stories like that again. I’m glad I got to hear them when I did.
No Thought Parenting
My parents didn’t put any thought into having children. Mom blamed the Pope: “No birth control is just stupid,” she would tell the 5 of us.
We would debate when they should have stopped. I voted after 3 — I’m the third child.
Dad, the historian, philosopher and deep thinker, just seemed to be along for the ride. “We didn’t talk about it,” he said.
He is very focused on social justice, equality and humanism, but he never thought about the resources his progeny would use or the pollution and shit we would produce.
They threw their DNA around like Irish Johnny Appleseeds. They were not alone. Their whole generation pumped out the poopers in record numbers, and that’s why there are more Irish in America than in Ireland.
When delivering the 5th kid, my mom had her tubes tied. Seems like a decision you would share? She didn’t tell my dad until a few years later.
My generation put the breaks on all this procreation — we planned our kids.
The Bear and I fought long and hard just to have one miracle – $20,000, 100’s of doctor visits and various “fertility” procedures. When I told my mom what we were doing, she just said, “Why?”
This is the same woman who stopped me in the driveway as I was leaving for high school prom and said. “You know sex isn’t that great… it only leads to children.” That was the extent of my sex ed at home.
My sister stopped at one child, because she had a “clinger” who 28 years later still calls her every day.
My brother, the lawyer, and his wife dropped 3 sons. They had talked about 4 early on, but wisely quit while they were still ahead. The other two siblings had no children – they are the smart ones — at least they think so.
A New Shit Show
But this generalized non-production of children (Irish or not) is screwing up America’s Social Security. My whole generation has not replaced itself, and now there’s not enough workers to pay for our retirement.
The solution is fairly easy – bring in more people from other places. That’s been more or less working for a long time, but now my fucking “generation” is “alarmed” at all the “brown people.” So we supported the lying orange asshole and his dumb ass wall and that’s creating a new whole new kind of shit show…