It’s going to be a crazy weekend at the National Zoo as the newest baby panda Bao Bao makes her debut to the public tomorrow.
All the pandamonium (yeah, I just did that) reminds me of when Tai Shun made his debut in December 2005. He was the first panda to be born and survive at the National Zoo, and everyone was so excited about it, of course.
Normally, the zoo exhibits are open to the public, but because of the huge interest, there was a lottery for free timed tickets. Fortunately, I was able to get four tickets for a viewing in mid-January 2006. So we took Miss C, who was then only 2.5 years old, and her new friend from our neighborhood.
I remember everything about that day because it was the first time I really felt settled in our new hometown. Martin was dressed in his business clothes because that very morning was his first official day at the bank after completing his training. I was four months into my job at the Pentagon, and Miss C was doing so well in her new daycare center. I was in the midst of training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer taking place that spring. Our house was completely unpacked and organized, and we were making friends in our neighborhood.
And best of all, we were exposing our daughter to something pretty awesome and historically significant — a baby panda, something we wouldn’t have been able to see if we lived elsewhere. Our life in our new hometown felt so promising that morning.
You can read today’s Flashback Friday post from 2006 HERE.