Baby’s First Epic

PabstRigging the raft for hands-free floating is key. Photo: Katie Arnold

You know how sometimes you ask other parents, including your own, for advice or insight about kid-related quandaries, and so often people scratch their heads and mumble, “Uh, I can’t remember?” And you find this totally incomprehensible because parenting is so profound and mind-boggling that it will be burned on your brain forever and you will never, ever forget? Well, guess what, you will.

I’d forgotten, for example, how stressful it is to take a baby on a river trip. Of course it is! You are mixing a tiny, mostly helpless infant, moving water, and wilderness. But in the two short years since my littlest was a newborn, this fact had somehow slipped my mind. Until it came flooding back to me last weekend on a two-night float trip on the Rio Grande with our friends Elizabeth and Win and their 10-month-old daughter, Camille.

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