Short Excerpt from the first draft of The End of Childhood

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Upon returning to our apartment, I called for a family meeting, "I'm going to make a decision about whether to do some counter-intelligence work for Grandfather Scimtar, but I want your input before I do." I already knew Asto would support my decision, even if I changed my mind and turned Scimtar down. But I wanted the kids to have a chance to voice their concerns. Working counter-intelligence would require a different sort of time commitment than the four to eight hours per week I was working for Secundus Yeriala as an investigator.

"Do you have to?" Alden asked.

"No, I don't have to, but it's something that would be a big help, and your father's splinter is here to watch over you."

"You heard Uncle Iaren," Esteban replied, "War is almost here. If mom stops something that keeps a planet's defenses intact, she could save a lot of lives."

"You also heard Uncle Amras," Alden replied, "This could go on for years."

"Uncle Amras also said Mom's not under an oath of service. She can quit anytime it gets to be too much." That was Ilras.

Ilora: "Since when does Mom quit at anything?"

"And we're top of that list she'll never quit on," Esteban replied.

"Dear family," I broke in, "I didn't ask for an argument. Nor will there be a vote. I will make this decision. I was only asking for input, particularly informative input."

Ilras, who loved to play Devil's Advocate, "Isn't persuasive input part of that?"

"Yes, it is, but use information which does the persuading for you."

"How are we going to do that?" Alden wanted to know.

"An exercise for the student," Asto's splinter told him, "You learn by doing. You'll know you succeeded or failed by the decision she makes." They'd absorbed their lessons well, so you couldn't hear the groans you knew the kids were making internally.

Admittedly, there was a pretty heavy thumb on the scales. I wanted to do this. But I thought it wise to ask my smart kids - and my amazing husband who'd been living with our position his whole life - for their input. Asto had given his input through our link - he thought it a good hoop to jump through, provided I was careful enough not to get myself killed. To his credit, he trusted me to do that without supervision from him or his family. But kids were different.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on July 25, 2020 4:59 AM.

Why The Structure of the Empire's Government Looks Libertarian was the previous entry in this blog.

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