Six Steps to Surviving COVID-19 (Most require acting like grownups)

I had several readers contact me about the descriptions in my book series of the Pox and how it mirrors much of what we’re seeing with COVID-19. While I based my “plague” on a genetically-vulnerable version of small pox, and the Spanish Flu of 1918, much of what I learned while researching and writing applies to now.

Here’s what I think we should be doing:

1) Stop complaining. All of us are suffering—every last person. Universally, we’re universally disappointed. I’ve had students and friends tearfully tell me that dances, graduations, weddings, and events are being postponed or cancelled. Well, mine too. Money and hours I’ve personally put toward an event may never come to fruition, and here’s the thing—EVERYONE is suffering from extreme disappointment. And there’s always someone suffering far worse than you. So let’s get past it and start being useful.

Jaytsy hid her face in her hands, feeling betrayed by everything in the world. “It’s not right!” came her muffled cry. “It’s just not fair!”

(Book Four, The Falcon in the Barn)

2) Check on your neighbors and friends, especially the elderly, those receiving cancer treatments, or otherwise dealing with compromised immune systems. Many of us find we now have extra time. Perfect! Knock on the doors of your neighbors, take several steps back to keep a safe distance, then ask, “Do you need me to pick up your groceries and drop them on your front step for the next few weeks? Do you need your dog walked? My kids are home from school, they can help. I see you have chickens. Can we gather the eggs for you? It’s going to snow tomorrow—can we clear your sidewalks later?” Take care of each other. There’s never been a better time.

Perrin pointed at him. “Remember this moment when you first realized that the government can’t properly take care of people. In fact, that’s never been their responsibility. They’re supposed to keep our borders safe so that we can live as we wish. It’s our responsibility—yours and mine and Zenos’s and everyone else’s—to take care of each other.”

(Book 4, The Falcon in the Barn)

3) If you get sick, STAY HOME and keep everyone home with you. We know what to do: binge watch TV, surf the internet, or—best of all—read a book and get some sleep until you’re better. We know what to look for: fevers, aches and chills, coughing, and runny noses. You or your family come down with those symptoms, stay home. Do NOT run to the hospital. There’s nothing they will do for you because it’s a VIRUS. Antibiotics don’t work. Your body will fight it off in time. Treat the symptoms with over-the-counter drugs, and rest, rest, rest. So when do you run to the hospital? See #4.

About two hours later, after half the neighborhood consisting of Hycymum’s old sewing club had come to her Cottage, assured Mahrree they would prepare her mother for burial, and gave her wet kisses, Mahrree finally accepted a ride home.

(SPOILER: this outpouring of kisses proves to be a bad strategy for old ladies. Book Four: The Falcon in the Barn.)

4) IF you find yourself unable to breathe, that means pneumonia is settling in, and that’s when—and ONLY when—you need to go to the hospital. Pneumonia’s the real problem, which very, very few people develop. So for 98% of us who might get sick, don’t even bother the doctors or hospitals. You’ve weathered nasty colds before. Just deal with another one. You’ll be fine.

Mahrree remembered something. “Wait a minute—you’ve been here the entire time I’ve been ill? What about the fort?”

He looked into her eyes. “The fort can function without me for a while. I had some leave coming anyway. I belong by your side.”

Mahrree blinked. “Four days? You’ve never been away that long without being unconscious or seriously injured.”

He shrugged. “Shem kept an eye on things for me. So did Jon Offra. Whatever Thorne may have changed in my absence, I’ll just right again.”

(Book Four, The Falcon in the Barn)

5) When all of this is over, realize that the bigger problem will be coming. “Wait a minute,” I hear you saying, “the danger of illness is over—all is great again, right?” No, it won’t be. Look at all the businesses closing, the massive amounts of revenue being lost to canceled events, the shortages we’re facing because of fear. Generosity of companies now (providing free internet or paid leave of absence, etc.) means they’ll have to make up those losses later. The financial cushions companies have built up will dry up in a few weeks, maybe months. Unless they find ways to recoup those losses, their employees won’t be paid and companies may collapse.

No one’s saying it but I will: We’re looking at a future financial crisis, likely globally, that will take months, if not years, to recover from. This, I believe, is when the real trouble will begin. People will become greedy. They’ll want “compensation” of some sort for their suffering (although ALL of us have suffered). They won’t accept that suffering is a part of life, but will panic when they feel they’ve “lost” experiences, possessions, or people that won’t return. That’s when #6 will become vital.

“Once that numbness wears off, it will turn to pain. And no one seems to think that pain is part of the human condition; they seem to think they should be compensated for it.”

(Book 3, The Mansions of Idumea)

6) Realize that we are a resilient species, that physical and financial losses in one area always mean emerging opportunities in others. When this is all over, we’ll have choices to make: Will we a) graciously acknowledge that life is hard but we are creative and can cope, or will we b) crumple like spoiled children, demand someone to make everything better, and throw violent tantrums if they don’t? We’ll be a lot happier and more satisfied if we follow the first route rather than the second.

In my books I speculate about people looting and rioting to be compensated for their losses. The fact that they lived through the illness wasn’t “reward” enough. Greed and fear take over. In a way, that’s already happening. (I don’t know why people stock up on TP and water. I was stocking up on chocolate, and I made sure there was plenty left for others.)

Mahrree looked out the dark window. “They’re just like animals,” she decided. “No. Worse than animals. We may no longer debate but we’ve retained our ability to rationalize away logic and compassion. We can be so great, or be so terrible. It seems we’re content to just be terrible.”

(Book Four: The Falcon in the Barn)

There’s little we can do about the events already set in motion; we need to seclude ourselves, take care of others, and ride out the virus. It’s after COVID-19 has gone, when we try to make sense of what we have left, especially financially, that we need cool heads, calm hearts, and reminders that we’ve come through far worse. 

“Yes, the world’s unfair, Nature’s unfair, because the Creator is allowing us the opportunity to resolve that, as part of our Test. We can choose to bring balance. We can choose to fix those inequalities . . .

“I believe the Creator intends for us to use our surplus to help those in need. He’s giving us an opportunity to do something good for others, not take a reward just for surviving.”

(Book Four, The Falcon in the Barn)

All of us had ancestors who survived multiple bouts of the Black Plague. (If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be here.) Our species has also survived massive volcanic explosions, world wars, tsunamis, and financial disasters. We’ll survive this, and quite well, too, with the right attitudes. Faith over fear, every time. 

Help everyone around you remember that as well. 

“We realize that we’re asking you to put a great deal of faith in us, but I promise—you’ll be glad you did.”

(Book Four, The Falcon in the Barn)COVID 19

(And by the way, I have been blogging every week, just not here. If you’re at all interested in AP Lit, here’s what we’ve been doing this semester. This has taken a great deal of my time, and seeing as how our school will likely sometime follow suit and go online with all of our classes, it’ll take even more.)

 

Power-hungry “toddlers” are trying to take over. Be a grown up and don’t let them.

I’ve never understand why people want to be “in charge.” They must think there’s great status, or acclaim, or money.

But it’s responsibility, criticism, and working far more hours than one will ever be compensated for.

That is, if the leader in power is doing things right.

I suspect most who crave power are intent on doing things wrong; they want people to praise (worship) them, they want every convenience and toy available, and they want no one to stand in their way.

Those who are power-hungry are simply toddlers. You can tell by their tantrums, their screaming, their raging, their demands to get whatever they want, and everyone else can just shut up.

The first time one of my toddlers screamed at me in a fit of fury to “shut up!” I was at first astonished, then I burst out laughing. My toddler responded by screaming more and more, until I put her into time out so that I could try to stop laughing.

Worryingly, adults who demand power and influence, and throw tantrums when the don’t get it, are much harder to put in a chair in the corner. Nor are they nearly as funny. I rarely find myself laughing anymore.

I’m deeply concerned that someday they may get exactly what they want, through their manipulative bullying tactics. And the last thing they’re going to be concerned with is their responsibility to others. They want the power to serve themselves.

Such “toddlers” in power would be a terrifying thing. That’s why we all need to act like grown ups and not give in to the tantrums around us.

“If they can’t manipulate me—and they’re discovering quickly that I’m no Stumpy—then they’re going to discredit me and try a new tactic. Call me paranoid, but since I don’t know who’s working for whom—and if anyone is actually on my side besides the enlisted men who I bribe with snacks—I can’t trust anyone,” Pere confided.

“Oh,” Relf said, his voice small. “That’s why you didn’t want me to speak until we got home.”

“Exactly. There are spies everywhere, son. Walking casually past, following a few steps behind, waiting in a shrub. It’s also why I don’t employ servants, or want to move into a larger home where we would need servants. Trust no one, Relf, not even your servants. They’ll bring you your meal with a smile one day then stab you in the heart the next.”

“Pere!” Banu exclaimed. “That’s not fair! My friend is a servant.”

“And maybe we’ll employ her when all of this mess calms down. Until then, I stand by what I say, Relf. If not the servant, then the relative or friend of one. Remember that anyone in power is a target for anyone without power.”

~The Walls in the Middle of Idumea, available now on Amazon and here

Why I want my kids to have “dirty” jobs

Currently, my 18-year-old daughter has the crappiest job in town.

She’s helping clean the filters at our town’s sewage treatment plant. She gets outfitted head to toe to plastic slickers, then helps in the once-every-four-years-task of scraping off the “cake” (it’s not really cake) from filters, runs the filters through a washer, and puts them together again. It’s monotonous but easy work, and it’s a good temp job at $12/hour, which is more than any other job in the valley for unskilled labor. And since she’s interested in processes, it’s giving her some insights as to if she wants to pursue engineering in college.

But it’s far from glamorous. In fact, she rushes home from work and takes a hot shower for 20 minutes. One afternoon she said, “I know I asked for spaghetti, but can we have something else for dinner?” I told her I was planning on ravioli, and she said, “Good, because today I learned what a parasite looks like, because I found one: long and red and wriggling, like spaghetti in sauce, come alive.”

I don’t think we’ll be having spaghetti for a very long time.

You may be thinking, “Why do you let her do this job?!”

Because I want all of my kids to have a dirty job at least once in their lives. Mike Rowe has commented extensively and beautifully on the merits of hard, filthy work, and here are my two cents’ worth: my daughter will, in her future, encounter nasty, vile things: family will get sick all over her, disasters will occur in her house or yard, and she will run headlong into manifestations of “Yuck!” that only she can resolve, because she’s the only capable adult around.

Life is revolting and disgusting, and we can’t run away from it. Being a grown-up means handling the hard stuff. And it helps to have some early practice in it.

I won’t detail the horrors I’ve had to mop up, but I knew I could do them because when I was a newlywed, my husband and I worked at a hospital in an east coast city. Back in the 1980s, this facility struggled to follow protocols, and there was contamination everywhere. (It was later temporarily shut down.) I discovered these messes the hard way when we were contracted to take out the trash while the regular trash guy had an extended vacation.

I never before realized how disgusting surgical trash can be. Nor will I ever forget the sound of wet, bloody bags splatting, and breaking, in labor and delivery. I think I wore a permanent wince for those weeks, and also rushed home to take very hot showers, especially when we encountered incorrectly disposed of “sharps.”

But because I endured that bloody crap (literally) I knew I could handle anything else adult life would throw at me.

That’s why I let my two oldest sons work in the oil fields of North Dakota as roustabouts. They’ve been covered in oil, worked in weather -20 degrees below zero spraying salt water to clean rigs, labored in 90-degree weather climbing into slimy pipes, and lived to tell about it.

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My second son learned on his first day at work as a roustabout to NOT take off the protective gear too early. The work’s not done until it’s COMPLETELY done.

In fact, nothing built in them more confidence, which they needed before joining the military or becoming LDS missionaries.

This is crucial confidence, not some fluffy, fake self-esteem too many teenagers and adults are laden with, but well-earned, struggled for, “Look at the work we’ve accomplished!” worthy kind of pride. They’ve learned at an early age that they can do hard things.

Which means they can do just about anything.

Everyone deserves to have those moments, to feel that sense of accomplishment of having done something necessary for society, something not everyone else would readily step up to do. I have to admit I’m proud of my kids not running home after the first difficult day on the job, whining that they never want to go back, although I’m sure they wanted to. Overwhelmed, I’m sure each wanted to quit their jobs, but they stuck with it, until they rose to the challenge.

Gordon B. Hinckley rightly said, “There is nothing in all the world so satisfying as a task well done. There is no reward so pleasing as that which comes with the mastery of a difficult problem.”

My oldest daughter spent a long, hot summer on the Utah-Arizona border digging up Native American artifacts in 110-degree heat, drinking gallon after gallon of water to keep hydrated as she shoveled for hours in the dirt. Weeks later she still found dust in her gear.

Image may contain: one or more people, child and outdoor

(In archaeology, the office is outside.)

My second daughter is in her final year for her bachelor’s of science in nursing, and there’s no dirtier work than nursing. She’s been covered head-to-toe in, well, everything, and when she becomes a labor-and-delivery nurse, it’ll only continue.

IMG_1712

(White scrubs don’t stay white.)

We have four more children who I also hope will have demanding and dirty experiences. We’ll be moving to the coast of Maine this summer, and already my husband is looking for lobstering jobs for our 16-year-old son and investigating what “seaweed harvesting” entails. Then there’s the blueberry harvest.

Hard, dirty work also puts all other kinds of work into perspective. Recently my nursing school daughter commented that her current lab analysis job, which is so monotonous that she can watch Netflix while doing it, is wearing on her because of its dullness. But it pays for college and, she was quick to add, “I remember working at scout camp making three meals a day for 300 scouts in a substandard kitchen with faulty equipment all summer. THAT was much worse and paid far less. No, this is a good job and I’ll continue it until I graduate.”

My oldest son, a former roustabout, works every morning cleaning a fast-food restaurant. It’s easy, comfortable indoor work, he says, compared to cleaning oil rigs outside in the winter.

You just can’t buy that can perspective for your children. They have to earn it on their own, and it’ll be theirs forever.

Nor can they learn respect in any other way for those who do these kinds of hard, dirty work ALL THE TIME. My sewer-working daughter loves to hear the stories of the men who work in the treatment plant, and they’ve shown her their clever solutions to problems when the “expert” engineers said their requests weren’t reasonable. They take great pride in their work, and she’s proud of them. My sons are still in awe of the men they worked with in the oil fields, who are still there, year after year, in all kinds of weather.

We’ve been trying to instill respect for work in our kids. Our youth are growing up in the laziest generation ever, with few jobs for kids under sixteen to do, and not a lot of options available for high schoolers, either, depending on where you live. Even lawn mowing jobs have been taken over in many areas by “lawn care professionals” with trucks and trailers and expensive equipment.

It’s up to parents to point out important work happening all around us and teach kids to appreciate labor and how it benefits us.

Recently our furnace died, and two men came to install a new one. My five-year-old watched in rapt fascination as they maneuvered the old furnace up the stairs, brought down the new one, then cut and pounded and made quite a ruckus to get the new one into position. My son whispered reverently to me, after the noisiest work was over, “That was cool!” I told him I agreed, and that he could train to do that kind of noisy work when he grows up, too. He was delighted.

When the power went out this past winter, it was during the coldest days we’ve experienced in decades. After a few chilly hours, the power was restored and I checked online to see what had happened. In local social media circles, there were predictable complaints from disgruntled customers. I told my thirteen-year-old about that, and before I could comment, he said what I was thinking: “But it’s -15 degrees outside and windy! Those guys must have been freezing trying to fix the frozen lines. I bet none of those complainers had any idea how hard the job was, and they just sat at home wearing extra sweaters.”

I’d never been so proud of my son for appreciating the hard work of others in terrible conditions. I’d be even prouder if one day he did that same kind of work.

Nearly every work is worthy work (drug dealing, prostitution, and like excepted). There is no such thing as a too-lowly job. Every time I had a baby, I made a point of thanking the lady taking out my trash because I remembered doing her job.

Everyone who works deserves respect. I had an older relative who was notoriously rude to service workers of all kinds, until her own niece began working fast food. After watching the frenetic hustle of a lunch rush, my relative realized she could never do such laborious work simply because she didn’t have the stamina, and she began to be more civil to every worker she encountered.

One year, just a couple years ago, I worked as a “washing tech,” meaning that I sorted, washed, dried, and folded laundry for a large facility. Both my husband and I were underemployed at the time and were taking whatever work offered to us. As dirty work goes, it was relatively clean.

A couple of friends commented to me that they were shocked that someone with my degrees and experience was “only” doing laundry. I told them that while it was “only” $9/hour, no other jobs had presented themselves, and we had bills to pay and children to feed. It was good work, my arms became stronger, and I learned that I’m really lazy about getting our clothes clean at home. (I still am, but I’m much better at folding now.) I was grateful for the opportunity, and also glad that my kids could see that work is work, that you take what you can get because any kind of work is more ennobling than sitting around doing nothing and waiting for handouts. 

Hinckley also said, “It is work that spells the difference in the life of a man or woman. It is stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands that lifts us from the stagnation of mediocrity.” (“Articles of Belief,” Bonneville International Corporation Management Seminar, Feb. 10, 1991).

My third daughter with the crappiest job may not wholly believe this yet. When she comes home from the sewer treatment plant each day, I remind her (after her shower) that nothing will be too gross after this experience. She shrugs and says, “I hope not.”

But I already know she’ll be pulling memories from this job for decades to come. That she’ll remember how more than once something brown flicked onto her unprotected face, and that she did not die from it. That she learned what real, solid work looks like, and that after this, everything will be a piece of cake.

(Umm, the real kind of cake, not the “sewer cake.” Maybe.)

He lay in his cot, tired but not as exhausted as the other new recruits. There was something to say for having been raised on an orchard and cattle ranch. He knew how to work and it showed. He completed every physical requirement in near record time while the other flabbier, weaker young men stumbled and flailed.

~Book 6, Flight of the Wounded Falcon, coming later this month!

 

12 reasons why I want to be a better Grown-up

A young mother who was recently put into leadership of our church women’s group told me she was worried that she didn’t “adult” properly on her first Sunday in charge, but I assured her that she displayed a great deal of “adultery” at church. (She’s still hesitant to speak to me.)

I was proud of her worry, though. She understands that being an adult, or a “Grown-up,” is a good thing, and she wanted to do it right. Too many people, however, are content to remain “Children”: they don’t want responsibility, they expect to be handed everything as if they were still babies, and they’re easily offended if the world doesn’t go their way. 

But being a Grown-up is a great thing. Here are 12 ways that Grown-ups make the world a better place, and why I’m resolving to be a better one. First, some definitions:

“Grown-ups” can be any age, and they’ve discovered that life isn’t about satisfying themselves: it’s about serving others. And when you take care of others, most of your problems take care of themselves.

“Children” are adults of any age who still think life is about getting all they can for themselves, and whose single-minded selfishness causes frustration to just about everyone they come in contact with.

Here’s why being a Grown-up is better:

  1. Grown-ups are modest. While they’re proud of their spouses and family’s accomplishments, they aren’t Children who brag incessantly about perfect grades, or post college acceptance letters online, or post a hundred photos of their latest and expensive vacation. Grown-ups will discreetly mention a promotion or a child going to college to let friends know that a change is occurring, but they also know that many of their friends are struggling, and that boasting about successes frequently make others feel inadequate and discouraged about their own failures.
  2. Grown-ups are discreet. They’re careful with what they reveal, especially on social media. While Children air out all of their dirty laundry about family, work, or awkward personal problems, Grown-ups think before posting, pause before venting, and consider if they really want the entire world knowing their troubles. Grown-ups realize that most people don’t want to know, and that unloading your troubles to only a couple of people who can really help resolves their problems much faster.
  3. Grown-ups build up others. They are concerned about making everyone around them feel comfortable and loved, and when they ask how someone’s doing, they really want to know. Children, on the other hand, are concerned only that everyone notices they are in the room. And they want to be The Most Important Person, too, so they frequently insult or tear down others, then claim they are only “teasing” when they go too far. Grown-ups, however, go out of their way to lift those who are flailing, encourage those who are discouraged, and be genuinely kind to everyone, everywhere. It’s rare when someone notices that a Grown-up has a problem; they won’t advertise it or draw any attention to themselves.
  4. Grown-ups are secure. They don’t need expensive cars, fancy clothes, remodeled homes, or any other status symbol because they are confident in who they are. Children, however, are easy to spot because they make sure you see they have the latest, biggest, and most expensive of everything, because that’s how they feel important. They excessively post selfies of themselves desperately searching for praise and approval. Their possessions define them, whereas Grown-ups are defined by what they know, who they love, and what causes they worry about. Grown-ups never create drama, but Children always do. Children crave drama, and never realize that everyone else hates it. 
  5. Grown-ups are selfless. They care more about others than themselves. Among Grown-ups is the company president who stays after the holiday party to vacuum so the janitorial staff doesn’t have too much extra work; the grandmother who’s absent from the big family party because she’s in a back bedroom with an overwhelmed four-year-old, reading him a book; the popular teenager who decides each day at lunch to sit with the loner kid because he needs a friend. Children, on the other hand, steer every conversation to themselves, don’t listen to anyone else, and sulk when not enough attention is given them. A Child may be the grandfather who pouts because he thinks he’s been disrespected by a clueless grandchild, the employee who feels her accomplishments should have been publicly acknowledged at the boss’s luncheon, and the college student who complains no one is his friend when he does nothing but play games on his computer all day.
  6. Grown-ups make life easier. They step in when a problem arises. They clean up the messes, they offer the jobs, they pick up your kids, and they spend their Saturdays helping you move. Children cause problems, and when their family/coworkers/friends see them coming, people tense up and tell each other to brace themselves. But when the Grown-ups arrive, people relax, smile, and know that everything’s going to work out. 
  7. Grown-ups are responsible. They pay the bills, balance the checkbook, clean up the house, cook the meals, go to work on time, and check the air pressure in the tires, even when—especially when—they don’t want to. Grown-ups work first and play later. Children reverse that, and as a result their lives are more chaotic than they need be. Children have to be prodded and nagged to do nearly everything, and are resentful when someone doesn’t swoop in and rescue them from their consistently poor choices. When a financial windfall comes to Children, they blow it on vacations and toys. When Grown-ups come into money, they pay off debts, donate some to charity, save the rest, and blow maybe only a hundred bucks on dinner out for the family.
  8. Grown-ups are generally happy. That doesn’t mean they don’t have problems. But because they are mature, they seek solutions to their problems and humbly change their behavior when they see their faults. They realize that everyone has struggles, and they don’t see that as something to resent, but to transcend. Problems become challenges, which become triumphs. Children, on the other hand, are generally miserable. Because they expect the world to conform to their desires, they are frequently disappointed and rarely see that they are the root of their problems. Children demand others make them happy, without realizing that happiness is cultivated from within. 
  9. Grown-ups are tolerant. They don’t feel threatened by others’ ideas, but allow all people to make their own choices and believe what they want to. Grown-ups don’t need everyone to approve of them, nor do they need constant reassurance that what they do or want is perfect. Grown-ups are content with themselves and with who they are, so they aren’t easily brought down by dissenting opinions or nasty barbs. Children, however, feel threatened by everyone and everything, if insults are intended or not, because they have no sense of self outside of public approval. They demand everyone to conform to their views and desires, and feel terrified of the world at large because it doesn’t acknowledge them as the center of it.
  10. Grown-ups take care of themselves. They get proper amounts of sleep and exercise, they pick up new skills, they learn how to use new technology, they read books and newspapers, and they pay attention to their health. Grown-ups realize that hot dogs and soda hasn’t been an acceptable lunch since they were eleven years old, and that their physical and emotional health is something they can—and should—take control of. But Children want to follow every impulse, and balk when someone suggests they eat better, or exercise more, or go to bed at a reasonable hour. They want to live like irresponsible teenagers as long as they can, but then are resentful when they need a handful of pills each day just to function. Children rationalize and whine they have no control over their situations, that genetics or family expectations hold them back, but Grown-ups accept that nothing, really, is out of one’s control.

    Image result for ron swanson eating a banana gif

    Ron Swanson eats the occasional banana, although he hates it, because he’s doing it for his wife and children. Ron’s a Grown-up.

  11. Grown-ups ‘fess up. They are honest—with themselves and with others. When they make a mistake, they own up to it, apologize, and try to make amends. But Children will rarely admit their errors, and will pretend, in the face of all evidence, that they didn’t do anything wrong. They’ll even try to shift the blame to someone else, even when everyone else can see they are at fault. Children think that admitting faults makes them smaller, but in reality confessing mistakes and rectifying them like a Grown-up is what earns people’s respect.
  12. 23 Times Ron Swanson Was Inarguably Right About The World

And finally,

  1. Grown-ups sacrifice, without telling you the cost. They will give you their time, their money, and their love without ever letting you know how much it may inconvenience them. They give whole-heartedly, because they’re more concerned about you than themselves. Children may give those same things, but they’ll remind you—even years later—about the cost of their sacrifice. Their concern is not with your well-being, but with getting acknowledgement for their service, which then is no service whatsoever.

People love and admire Grown-ups.
They barely tolerate Adult Children.
I want to be a better Grown-up.

   “Perrin, I don’t know of another family that would give up as much as you have. Shem told me that you and Mahrree had amassed a fortune in your cellar. You were by far the richest family in all of Edge.”
   “Wait,” Peto frowned, “we were even richer than Trum?!”
   Mahrree waved him off, but shrugged. “Well, I suppose . . .”
   “When you saw people in need,” Gleace continued, ignoring Peto’s slack-jaw and Jaytsy’s rapid blinking, “you gave every last slip of gold and silver, along with the jewelry you inherited, to pay off everyone’s losses in Edge. You also took that caravan of supplies from Idumea, despite the fact that you could have lost your position in the army, because you felt it the correct thing to do. You and Mahrree don’t care for possessions or status, but for people. Already you understand.”
   “How much did all of that cost?” Peto demanded, still shocked to realize his parents had given away a true fortune.
   “We never counted the cost,” Perrin said. “Never count the cost.”

~ Book 5 (releasing in 2016) Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti