I’ve known my husband for fifteen years. In that time, I have long-since learned everything there is to know about him—or so I thought.
I recently discovered something that I never knew before. It was shocking. It was hard to believe. And it allowed me to see something inside my husband that I hadn’t seen before.
No, I didn’t discover that he was in the CIA. In fact, what I discovered is not all that earth-shaking. But to me, it helped me see that my partner in love and in life is not someone to be easily summed-up. Even after fifteen years, there are still intricacies be uncovered, new talents to be admired, and insights to be treasured.
It was a regular weekday. The kids had been finishing homework, and I was cleaning up the post-dinner fallout in the kitchen. My husband, Victor, was in the office, and I hadn’t noticed that both he and our boys were unusually quiet. I assumed he was helping them with their homework.
After the kitchen was under control, I moved into the office to start sifting through the mountain of papers that always finds their way home from school in the boys’ backpacks. Half of what they bring home is crumpled up scratch paper. I funneled most of it into the waste paper basket, but I was stopped abruptly by the incredible craft that I noticed on top of some homework sheets.
It was a beautiful heart-shaped basket, woven together with paper. I picked it up, examined it, and became even more impressed when I realized it seemed to be constructed exclusively from paper. There was no seam, no glue, and no tape.
“Who made this?” I asked in admiring amazement.
“Daddy did,” came the unexpected answer.
“Victor,” I said with a great deal of doubt in my tone, “did you really make this?”
My husband pulled out a piece of paper and began proving his skill. I was shocked. Not only was the finished product impressive, but the artist was … my husband?
As my boys and I watched the paper transform from something ordinary into something remarkable, Victor explained to us that a little girl had showed him how to make these hearts some thirty years ago. As he weaved the strips of paper into the shape of a heart, my own heart was weaving some intricacies of its own.
I had never seen my Victor do anything artistic before. I assumed that he didn’t have an artistic side. Sure, he is brilliant with wood and tools. He can turn a square of earth into a masterpiece of a garden. And his athletic skills are unmatched.
But I never knew that he could work with his fingers, folding and weaving a piece of paper as he mesmerized an audience. And his audience grew, indeed. The boys and I have had him making his heart baskets for various friends and family, and they are equally as shocked as I was.
You may think that I’m making a bigger deal of this than I should. But the little paper craft itself is not my main point. It’s that I had assumed that I knew everything there was to know about my husband. Far from the truth.
My Victor is full of things I have yet to discover. In fact he is likely full of surprises that he is yet to discover. Just because we are grown doesn’t mean we stop growing. Learning something new about my husband showed me that, as a couple, we’re always still getting to know each other better and better. And that’s part of what keeps marriage so exciting.
I don’t want to reach a place where I think I have learned all that there is to know about my spouse. We can only do that by being actively engaged in each other’s lives—for the rest of our lives together.