I handed Clara and Lydia each a plate of pizza and opened the drawer under the counter.

“Uh oh,” I said, holding up a pair of forks. “There are three of us and only two forks.”

“That’s okay, Dad,” Lydia said with a flip of her tiny wrist, “I would rather not use a fork.”

I shrugged, “Alright. I’ll use it then. But I don’t want you making a huge mess eating your pizza with your hands, alright?” I glanced around. “You should take these.” I handed her a large stack of napkins from a basket and the three of us headed down the stairs to the family room.

Lydia leapt down the last three steps while holding the plate and napkins on top of her head.

“Lydia,” I said, trying not to trip over her, “Please be careful. You are going to drop your plate on the floor and I’m going to have to clean it up.”

She spun in a circle and sat down on the couch. “Yeah,” she agreed, obviously not paying attention. “So, you know what I think about when you give me something like a big stack of napkins like this?”

“What do you think about, Lydia?”

“Well, I think about how blessed I am to have so much. I have so many napkins! Some people don’t have any napkins and I have this huge pile of them.” She fanned it in front of her face like a stack of cash, “I just want to go out and give away all of our napkins!”

I smiled at her, “That’s sweet Lydia. And very true. Of course, we don’t want to give away ALL of the napkins, because you should probably keep at least one of them for yourself. So you don’t make a big mess on our couch.”

She flopped the napkins down on the table next to her, “Nah. I don’t really use napkins. No forks, and no napkins. That’s me. I could really just give them all away.” She held up her hands, “And see; all clean.” she grinned.

And who was I to argue this fact? The Lord knows my hands will never be as clean as these innocent young barbarians that share my home. I shook my head. I live in a fortress of napkins in a world desperate to wipe themselves clean, and I dare to use my napkins on a little girl like Lydia?

“Here,” I handed her my fork. “You should use this.” I reached past her and picked up the stack of napkins, “I should use these.”