In Tim O’Brien’s collection of essays, The Things They Carried, American soldiers during the Vietnam War chronicle their experiences and the items in their rucksacks. I often think about this quote, “They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried,” when packing and unpacking the lunches and bags each day for my platoon: myself, hubby, and our two-and-a-half year-old toddler.
I’ve written about our family’s daily soup lunches previously here, but these days peeking into P’s lunch you won’t find a thermos of soup but one of these nifty tiffin wallahs–Indian style tin lunch boxes. According to Wikipedia, “Tiffin” is an old-fashioned English word for a light lunch or afternoon snack, and sometimes, by extension, for the box it is carried in. Once he turned two, we noticed that his focus was more on play time than eating time, and switched to finger food lunches and snacks so that he can eat and then go, or more like run back to other activities. I do miss the old soup days where he could spend 30 minutes exploring, experimenting, and savoring during meal time, but I’m excited about his developing personality, expanding vocabulary and his ever expanding curiosity. “What’s THAT?” “My favorite is the Pink one; how ’bout you?”
Here is a sampling of lunches and snacks that I pack for our little soldier: