I’ve mentioned before about our love for Walden Pond. When we lived in Boston, Chris and I spent many Saturdays sitting on the beach and swimming in the pond. I have such fond memories of those days. While only 45 minutes outside of the city, our day trips there always felt like a vacation. We returned to the city feeling rejuvenated and ready to face another week of work.
We attempted a return trip to Walden Pond in May while I was still pregnant, but the park was closed. So, on this particular return trip to Boston, we made it a goal to make it to Walden Pond one last time…and this time, to introduce Emerson to one of our favorite places (as well as one of the inspirations for her name.) Did you know that Ralph Waldo Emerson owned Walden Pond when Thoreau lived there? True story. And, since I didn’t want to name my daughter Henry, David, Thoreau, Ralph or Waldo…Emerson seemed just perfect! So you see why we just HAD to introduce her to Walden Pond, right? Right.
On our final day in Boston, we made our way to Concord with the simple goal of dipping Emerson’s toes in the water and taking a picture. Cute, right? We thought so too. We didn’t have time to hang out at the Pond or take a walk as we had to get on the road but we were determined to accomplish this simple task.
We pulled into the park with the Airstream in tow and received a funny look from the parking attendant. She exclaimed in a confused tone, “What’s that?” (Pointing to our Airstream). Chris replied, “Our home.” There was still a look of confusion as she muttered, “ooohhh-kaaay.” I suspect she thought we were going to unhitch and stay awhile. She wasn’t even sure how to charge us for “that thing” on the back of our truck. But, she let us in the park with doubt that we would be able to park an Airstream. She obviously doesn’t know Chris. After six years of marriage, I obviously don’t know him, either. You know the routine by now, right?
Lani: “Chris, the Airstream is never going to fit.”
Chris: “Yes it will.”
Lani: “No, it won’t.”
And, it fit. He parked it beautifully where there was no chance of us getting blocked in by other cars. Pfffttt.
We rushed over to the pond. I started getting the camera ready. The moment was going to be perfect. Emerson at Walden. A picture that would forever be special. Chris bent down with Emerson in his arms. Onlookers were “ooohing” and “aahhhing” our beautiful daughter. Her little feet dangled just above the water and then Chris proceeded to dip those tiny little toes into Walden Pond. “WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.” A scream like I have never heard this child make. I didn’t even have time to snap the picture. I was completely caught off-guard by this wailing sound coming from such a small person.
There we stood. In the middle of the beach at the very crowded Walden Pond. With our screaming child. People stared. And giggled. So, yeah…lesson learned. Before you dip your infant’s little feet into Walden Pond, make sure the Pond isn’t freezing. Apparently babies don’t like cold water.
It took her a few minutes to forgive us. We rushed back up towards the truck, ignoring the stares of…well…everyone. On the way, we stopped to pay a little visit to the statue of Thoreau and the replica of his cabin. Emerson was so not amused. But, someday she will be. Someday.