In the Tribes, everyone has a place.  Vivan’s dad was a herder and from an early age he began teaching Vivan how to follow in his footsteps, which meant a lot of time spent in the fields and desert, away from the rest of the family.  Vivan’s mother, being a storyteller, had her own responsibilities, as storytellers are expected to be able to memorize and recite stories and histories to the letter.  When she wasn’t tending to chores, she had to devote a lot of her time to studying and practicing, and unfortunately her free time didn’t overlap with that of her son’s as much as it probably should have.