The Horns of Mumbai

photo (18)One recent breakfast, I was feeding Timothy and grabbed a container of rice cakes. Breaking up a rice cake into small pieces, I sprinkled them onto the tray of his high chair.  Then I looked at the rice cake container.  I looked at my son.  I looked back at the rice cake container.

Now, I realize that rice cakes would taste like notebook paper on their own, and so I support adding a little flavoring.  But I was a shocked when I looked at the purple packaging and realized that I had just fed my boy a ‘blueberry – beet’ flavored rice cake.  I don’t even like beets, and even if I did, I wouldn’t want to combine them with blueberries.

Reeling from the idea that I had just fed my trusting young son two flavors who shouldn’t even be on the same softball team much less be squeezed together on a rice cake, I apologized to Timothy for my reckless food selection.  He just stared back, so I quickly reached back into the cupboard for another flavor.

I was encouraged by the orange container, until I read ‘apricot – squash’ on the label.  I’m sure that this Dr. Frankenstein of flavors is trying to do us a favor by combining two tastes together.  But if we wanted him to have both a fruit and a vegetable flavor, we’re not so busy at our house that we don’t have the time to feed TRBL blueberries and then, after a short intermission, some beets.

It shook me up so much that I almost didn’t feed Timo his chicken and waffle flavored yogurt (just kidding).

photo (17)   photo (14)


Our daughter, Elisabeth, flew out last Tuesday and is now in Pune, India living with her first host family, and at the start of her ten month stay over there.  She is keeping a blog of her experiences at .

Elisabeth called from outside the airport in Mumbai, India.  Catherine said that she could barely hear her sister over the car horns and people yelling in the background.  I have a feeling that won’t be the last Indian phone call we get from Elisabeth where we’re trying to hear her past a symphony of horns and loud background noises.

photo (16)      photo (15)

I had to take a flight two days after Elisabeth left for India.  I don’t enjoy being away from my family, but the last few weeks of preparation for Elisabeth’s trip have been stressful and I was a little worried about her in India, and so I was looking forward to escaping from thoughts of India for a few days.  I was also looking forward to travelling in peace and quiet, without having to worry about entertaining a two year old toddler during the flight.

I was one of the last people to board the flight, and walked past a family with a small boy, whose mom told me he was two years old.  Then I walked to my seat, but like Goldilocks, someone was already sitting in my chair.  Ironically, the man was from India.  So I politely asked him to get out of my seat (and sit in his middle seat), but then talked with him for most of the flight about India.  That is, when we were able to hear each other above the echoing screams of the two year old from the front of the plane.

Between fighting for a seat, talking about India and a screaming child, it was like I’d never left home.

Grateful and praying for Elisabeth,

The Lees

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