I was sad that Lydia had to spend so much of our road trip alone in the backseat of the van. She was mostly content to pass the time mumbling to herself while drawing, or juggling her collection of stuffed animals. But occasionally she would call up to ask for snacks or a rotation of toys and books, and her mother and I would do our best to be extra attentive.

However, the other day we were driving through some nameless flat place full of fields or something and she yelled for our attention. I stopped our audio book and adjusted the rear-view mirror to face the tiny little girl in a purple shirt far away in the back.

“What do you need, Dear?” I asked.

“Um Daddy,” she said sweetly, “I think I need a knife back here.”

“You can’t have a knife; that’s ridiculous. Why do you need a knife?”

She raised and then lowered her shoulders, “I just think I need one. Or maybe I don’t need one, and I could use really really really sharp sharp scissors.”

Clara started excitedly digging through her purse.

“What? No,” I said. “No, and Clara, stop. You better not have scissors in your purse. Lydia, Sweetie, you don’t need a knife or scissors. If you need help with something you can ask when we stop next time and we will do it for you.”

She accepted this with a nod and a small frown, and then went back to juggling her stuffed friends. Her same boring soft stuffed dogs and cats, nothing more exciting, nothing really really really sharp sharp.