Friday, December 7, 2007

How Much Do I Really Know Him?

Have you ever wondered if you really know someone? I wonder this as I sit here in my office, gazing through the glass doors at my husband. He is in the laundry room, just off the family room, the door is open. The cream colored dress shirt he is preparing to iron is laying across the washing machine. I catch glimpses of his arm, his shoulder as he does this pre-work ritual. I watched him and wondered what he was thinking this morning.

We have started and ended our days together for the last ten years. There have been up moments and down moments and sad moments and happy moments in between. I watched him finish his ironing, unplug the iron, and leave the laundry room. He closed the door and glanced up at me staring at him. He smiled.

I sit in my quasi-office, just tucked away in a little corner in the dining room. I am still getting used to this smaller house we moved to when we relocated. My back is to the open floor plan that leads to the stairs and the living room. I can hear him walking up the stairs and the girls in their room playing. I listen for the usual walk he takes to our bedroom, puts his clothes on the bed, and then the few steps to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes he came downstairs, freshly showered, smartly dressed, briefcase in hand.

He walked out to the car, put his things in, came back inside and picked up his cell phone. He kissed the girls, hugged me and then was gone for the day. I stood in the doorway and watched him drive away. It was a mystery to me what his day entailed. I tried to envision him on the highway, this first morning after the first light snow. It is cold, he forgot his coat.

We travel together down this path of life, we raise our children together, and I often wonder, how much do we really know each other. I pondered this and then wondered, if it is really possible to know anyone, truly, in the deep spiritual sense. What are his deepest fears, his deepest longings, his deepest dreams? Would I know them if they came up and shook my hand?

I finished the last of the breakfast dishes, washed his plate, held it in my hands for a moment. This man, my husband, the familiar, the unknown.

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