It always amazes me how one family can have multiple children from the same parents and yet, each child grows into completely different individuals. In my own family, my two children are as different as night and day. One loves animals, knows her future goals, and works day and night on achieving them. The other is more reserved, likes sports, and is testing his wings in a different state for both work and college. Despite those differences, there are similarities. They are both smart (too smart), independent, funny, and stubborn as all get out!
My children are no different than other children, even Amish children.
Take the Lapp family in my series, The Amish of Lancaster: Fields of Corn, Hills of Wheat, Valley of Hope, and Pastures of Faith. All four of the children in the different books are quiet, reserved, righteous, and godly. Well, three of the four. Samuel from Valley of Hope is a bit of a scoundrel and finds himself on the brink of destruction until he finally sees the light. Emanuel, Sylvia, and Daniel are older than Samuel and walk more in the path of righteousness that their parents taught them. However, the four Lapp children in the series each find a love interest in someone quite different.
While Emanuel and Sylvia fall in love with Englischers, Daniel and Samuel are attracted to Amish girls. Daniel has to make a decision to stand up to the community on behalf of his love interest while Samuel finds that Mary Ruth Smucker is the only one in the community who stands up for him. Emanuel is willing to leave the community for Shana Slater but finds something is missing in his life while Sylvia is courted by Jake Edwards (oh yes, dear Jake who made thousands of hearts swoon on the pages of Hills of Wheat…sigh…maybe I need to revisit their story) and finds contentment living outside of the Amish ways.
Writing those stories was an exercise of love for me. While I write love stories, there is nothing better than falling in love with those stories and the characters that come to life with each word that I type. Understanding how those characters feel is important to me. While it is not possible to know everything about them, what is possible is understanding that they are individuals who have their own dreams, desires, and, occasionally, disappointments.