Enjoy This Time, It Flies By

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How many times did you hear, “Enjoy this time, it flies by!” while holding your newborn baby in your arms? So many. Too many. And alas, it flew by. In the thick of it, you are tired and frustrated and you don’t know how to fix anything. But then — poof! — just like that, it’s over. And, oh, how I long to hold a newborn baby in my arms. I forget how hard it was. I forget the tears about not knowing what to do, and the exhaustion from such little sleep. When I look back, all I remember is the way the soft skin of their feet felt, or the feeling like my heart might explode with this new love I’d never felt before. I remember the nights I spent with their heads nuzzled to my chest and rocking them singing Three Little Birds.

As we approach these days and weeks, I am going to try to challenge myself to get it right this time. I’m going to try so hard to not get swept away in the despair of it all: the uncertainty, the questions, the frustrations and honestly, the fear. No matter how we look at it, all of that will be there either way.

This time is short. There will be an end to this. There will be a time when we look back on this as a distant memory. I am going to try to do everything I can to enjoy this time, because it flies by.

I am going to enjoy that I got a spring break camping staycation with my kids and taught my middle one how to cast a fishing rod and cuddled up in a sleeping bag looking at the stars. I will forget that I had to cancel a few vacations to faraway destinations.

I am going to enjoy the fact that I have the most amazing office family at my pediatric dental office that has been in this with me together from day one, and how this brought us closer together and made me appreciate them even more. I’m going to forget that we had to close our office doors for a little while and the piles of bills, paperwork, and anxiety this created.
I am going to enjoy that I got to spend more days at home with my eight-, seven-, and five-year-olds than I have since my short five-week maternity leaves. I’m going to forget that they destroyed the house every day.
I am going to enjoy the look in my kids’ eyes when they see their teachers and classmates in morning Zoom meetings and how much joy it brings, making me realize even more how special these teachers are. I’m going to forget how hard it was to get three tablets or iPads working at the same time, or what it was like to “homeschool” three kids at once (spoiler alert: I’m terrible at this).
I’m going to enjoy my late night FaceTimes with good friends and neighbors, near and far, and the things we shared and felt together. I’m going to forget how much it hurt not to hold their hands during hard times or not be able to cheers a 40th birthday in person.
I’m going to enjoy how this made me realize how insignificant material things are, and that the health and security of my friends and family are what really matters. I will forget how stressed we were about paying bills that we wouldn’t have thought twice about before.
I am going to enjoy getting to wake up and stay in my pajamas, then changing into my daytime pajamas, then conveniently switching over to my nighttime pajamas. I will forget how everyone realized I am not, in fact, a blond; that my face is a bit wrinklier, and that I am definitely at an age that going all-natural is not as pretty as it used to be.
I am going to enjoy and appreciate that I live in the same town as my parents and sisters, and how FaceTime sessions made it still feel like we were all a short drive away from each other. I will forget how my parents couldn’t hug and love on their grandkids.
I am going to enjoy that, when held to the fire with our businesses shut down and our financial situation feeling uncertain, my husband and I felt closer than ever. I will forget how we might have spent too much time on our phones reading news headlines.

I will enjoy seeing our community come together for the greater good and all the little things everyone did to help and love each other. I will forget that this meant my kids couldn’t go down the street to play with their friends.

I will enjoy the messages shared in Facebook live church sessions on Sundays in a time when I needed hope and comfort. I will forget that we didn’t get the fellowship of being together in person.

I will enjoy things like Drew and Ellie Holcomb’s live shows from their home and the good feelings that hearing their music brought me. I will forget the canceled shows and festivals and refunded tickets.

I will (let’s be honest, here) enjoy the takeout liquor laws and gallon of margaritas I got to pick up and take home and enjoy when a few well-timed cocktails were just what the doctor ordered. I will forget the many date nights and girls’ nights that didn’t happen.

I will enjoy the way the days went by slowly and how I got to just be with my family. I will forget that the kids didn’t get their baseball and softball seasons.

I will enjoy breathing fresh air and feeling the sunshine of our backyard watching my kids play. I will forget about N95 masks and six feet of distance.

I will enjoy watching healthcare workers’ bravery and selflessness in treating sick patients. I’ll forget the agony some of these choices had to bring to their families.

I will enjoy getting to see my kids just be and hearing their thoughts and dreams and fears, and actually having the time to listen. I’ll forget the sad feeling that I haven’t had more time to do this in the past.

I will enjoy that the water was smooth, the roads were empty, the days were long, I got to hold my kids so close, life was so precious, strangers were friends, that I just got so much precious time, and it all went by so, so fast.

I’ll forget that I was so scared, that things felt uncertain, that I felt impatient, that life felt so fragile, or that tears fell so freely.

This will be over. We are doing this for a purpose, and there will be a time when we look back on all of this and think about what it felt like. Our kids will talk about a time when their school was cancelled, and they couldn’t play sports and they just hung out at home because of a tiny virus we didn’t really understand. We will be back to work, back to taking trips, back to hugs, and nights out with friends. But until then, enjoy this time. It flies by, you know.

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I’m Beth- a Chattanooga native married to husband of seven years, Brian. We have three crazy fun kids: Cooper, Caroline, and Lucy. I’m a pediatric dentist and my husband is an orthodontist, so we spend a lot of time with teeth! We love to have fun with the kids and enjoy everything Chattanooga has to offer. We love getting outside, we like to dine out (and I am not much of a cook!), and we love to travel!