Can a domestic discipline story be about redemption?
I am a bit shy to say this when Kat and Natalie’s relationship is in no way Christian domestic discipline and, although Natalie’s family is Christian (Kat’s is not), religion plays only a very small part in the stories.
But…to me yesterday, thinking things over, the Kat and Natalie stories have become about redemption. It is a fairly big claim and I am sure there are those who will scoff, call me blasphemous, or ask how a silly fantasy can be about grand things like redemption.
Yesterday I worried whether I was foolish and silly to make up this superhero of a mother who could make everything right. Wondered how foolish and childish I was to play let’s pretend when I was sure everyone could see through my fantasy.
Then a kind friend told me that fantasies are not foolish. Especially not about love. And the more I thought about Kat and Natalie reuniting with the family they thought they’d lost (and Jane and Curtis were reunited with the daughters they thought they’d lost), it made me think of divine love. Of the ways we hide ourselves thinking we have blown our chances and that we will never be able to face God again. (I try not to talk too much about religion because I respect others’ views and never want to push them on anyone. I hope, if you are reading this, that you can read it only as me working through things in my head and not trying to push an interpretation on anyone. These are not Christian stories.)
I think of Natalie, sure that her family will never forgive or love her or want her.
I think of Kat, sure that they no longer even consider her family.
I think of Jane, crying for her children when they think they are protecting her.
I think of Curtis, furious and hurt and helpless watching his wife cry for their children.
The moment when they come together and sort through all of the choices Kat and Natalie have made to shut each other and their parents out of their lives…and yes there is anger but in this case anger is because there is love. We experience our greatest anger and hurt and fear because of the people we love most.
When I started this story, I thought it was going to be about Kat. About her personal demons and how she pushes her best friend away. In the past few weeks, it’s become about so much more.
And I am left, today, with the image of a father weeping for his daughters and a wife kneeling and giving him her strength. (I have feminist tendencies; I like strong women. Part of me rebels at the “Father Knows Best” flavor of the family rushing to serve the head of their household. But most of me knows that in this particular family, this is how they have learned to come together.)
I write love.
Kat, Natalie, Jane, and Curtis are not a perfect family. But in another way, they are. They are there for each other. They don’t give up on each other. They accept each other’s flaws. Spank them for it, maybe. (At least Natalie does to Kat..)
Just their presence, just the physical presence of Mama Jane and Dad is able to bring healing. When they have years-delayed conversation, the healing becomes even deeper.
Healing deep wounds almost hurts as much as receiving them in the first place.
Today, I write like a maniac because writing is healing something inside of my heart.
I never write myself into my stories. My characters have some of my quirks because it’s easier to give them things I know about (cooking, etc.), but ever since I stopped writing fiction almost 15 years ago…I never wrote myself into a story again.
Some day, I will tell the story of why I stopped writing fiction.
For now, I will just delight in releasing years of pent-up glorious story-making.
Come and enjoy my stories. If they make you smile, I couldn’t be happier. If they touch your heart and remind you what it is like to be loved, then I will cheer.
But for me, I have already won.
What I write becomes my truth.
And my truth for today is knowing that we are loved. Whether we can feel it or not. Whether we are in contact with the people who love us…or not.