“Look, honey, there's a place in China where all the people have to wear a mask, it looks funny”. Christian, who until just now had been engrossed in his newspaper, looks up briefly to see if there is a response from his wife. But Susanne's reaction is limited to a brief “Aha”.
Susanne starts to think
While Christian turns back to the newspaper, Susanne begins to ponder. That “treasure” just now, did he mean it, or was it just a phrase? Am I really still his treasure that he proudly and happily carried over the threshold of this house nine years ago to live a life together? After this great wedding celebration, where all friends and relatives had to confirm to them again and again what a great couple they were and how well they fit together.
Actually Susanne never had doubts
Susanne never doubted it, not until today, but somehow she feels that something has changed in their relationship. Not obviously, and also not recognizable to outsiders. They never had serious arguments and all things were almost always settled amicably. But still, Susanne feels that the routine of everyday life has introduced a certain superficiality into their love for each other. Is she really as happy as she was in the beginning? She would never have dreamed in her life that she would ever think about it.
Ski vacation – the highlight for Christian
“Have we actually received the hotel confirmation for our ski vacation in April yet?” Susanne thinks for a moment. “Yes, it's there, I forwarded the e-mail to you at the beginning of January,” is her reply. This skiing vacation is another issue.
Christian had made a point of spending this year's vacation with several couples who were friends. Susanne would have preferred to go alone with Christian. After all, they both have strenuous jobs, and their shifts as nurses often mean that they don't have enough time together. But she bowed to Christian's wishes. He's just a social type, and actually Susanne also likes to be with her friends. But it's just different from a vacation just the two of them.
The evening is over
When Susanne comes home after a late shift at the beginning of March, Christian looks rather embarrassed. Wordlessly, he holds out his smartphone to her. It's an e-mail from her hotel in Austria, which is very sorry that entry is not possible for the next few weeks due to this virus. But this is very annoying, especially since they have already paid a deposit and are not sure if they will get the money back.
The evening is over for Christian. Approved vacations must be taken, and that goes for both of them. “Do you know what that means, Susanne? Squatting here at home for two weeks, and at Easter, that's sheer horror.” Christian gives vent to his displeasure. Well, Susanne thinks, horror is something else, for example what I experience every day in the hospital. Where the wishes of many people are reduced to much less. Compared to that, a canceled ski vacation is really a luxury problem. She was almost inclined to start an argument with Christian. But of course, he was really looking forward to this vacation.
Togetherness by order
When Susanne looks back at the beginning of December and thinks about the end of the year, she has to smile. The pandemic is forcing the two of them to spend the New Year together as well. But after the experiences and events of the past year, they are now just happy to spend the time on New Year's Eve alone.
Poor substitute for a skiing vacation
After the hotel cancellation in March, she spontaneously made Christian a proposal: “If we have to take a two-week vacation at home at Easter, then we'll just do something nice every day. Everyone can make wishes, and one day we'll do what you want, and the other day I can make a wish”. “Great substitute for a ski vacation” Christian had only mumbled at the time.
But somehow he did go along with the idea, and Susanne was very surprised at how creative her Christian could be. Once a whole day of reading a nice book, a joint hike around their hometown, building a raised garden bed together, clearing out the basement together, together, together, together….
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Renounced and yet won
Both suddenly realized how good these two weeks did their love for each other. When they took a break on a bike ride and looked down into the valley arm in arm from the viewing platform. When they sat on the sofa, tired but happy, drinking a glass of wine after their decluttering. It was always those special moments when they relived the happiness of their relationship. And even Christian had to admit after this time: “Susanne, these two weeks were more valuable than any ski vacation. We did without a lot, but we gained so much more”.
And when Christian is now cautiously asked by Susanne about a skiing vacation next year, he just says quite relaxed: “We'll think about that at the end of the year.”
Throughout the year, like everyone else, they were affected by the severe restrictions caused by the pandemic. But somehow that didn't bother them much anymore. Christian was like a changed man and always tried to show Susanne his love wherever he could.
And now, as Susanne's thoughts wander to the end of the year, she suddenly feels very happy. Because during the Christmas vacations, they want to set up the room for the little earthling that is growing there under her heart. After more than nine years of marriage, their great wish for a child has finally come true. Surely also a result of their newly rekindled love. Now, at the end of the year, Susanne is simply grateful for the happy developments in her life and in her relationship. When she thinks about the thoughts she still had at the beginning of the year.
When Christian found out about the pregnancy, he was completely over the moon. He, who loved to do sports, was together with friends and always wanted to do something. Everyone now got the ultrasound photo from Christian under the nose, whether he wanted, or not. He was almost bursting with pride, and Susanne was completely surprised by his reaction. She had wanted a child for a long time and could hardly believe her luck. But that Christian was also so happy, that made her happiness perfect.
And also the thoughts towards the end of the year, which they wanted to make about the next skiing vacation, have been settled. Both agree on that.