Lydia was sitting quietly in the backseat of the car this morning. I watched in the mirror as she stared out the windows at the gloomy trees outside, the changing leaves, the cold white clouds, the sad grey smudge of sun deep behind a sheet of gauze. I wished they could be spending a nicer day at their grandparents. I could feel the coldness of the day dragging me down. I knew it had to be dragging them down as well.

“So Lydia,” I said, trying to sound cheerful and pulling her out of her trance. “What are you thinking about?”

She smiled at my reflection, “Oh. I was thinking about my new favorite colors.” Her head tilted slightly, “I think now my favorite colors are yellow, and orange, and green. And pink, and purple… and blue and red.” she took a breath, “and also black and white, but only if there are other colors beside them.”

And for a fraction of a second the greyness of the world melted away and I could see into little girl’s mind and it was all confetti candy and exploding pinatas filled with paint and glitter. I reached for it, like a child, but the vision faded back into clouds and dark pavement and a little girl with a tight smile, already turning back to the window.

“Thank you for that, Lydia.”