When Audrey was 2-1/2 years old her baby brother went in for a surgery on his spine and our friends Trisha and Kevin offered to let Audrey stay overnight with them, allowing Buddy and me to focus solely on Grant.
As we made our way from Stanford Children's Hospital to San Jose, where Trisha and Kevin and their two kids lived, I explained to Audrey that she was going to be there for "a long time" but I promised to come back and get her.
I was nervous about leaving her alone overnight, and I find when you're stressed about one kid going in for major surgery, it's always nice to stress about the emotional well-being of the other child as well. Don't you agree?
I went back the next day to get her and when she heard my voice she came out into the living room, one hand propped on her chubby little hip, and proclaimed, "Hmm! You said you were going to be gone a *long* time!"
Well, now at age nine Miss Priss is in Japan for 16 days visiting her grandma and grandpa.
We talk every night and she tells me about her adventures. Apparently her grandma told her that she should dress neat and clean every day because other people will judge you based on your appearance. Audrey told me that night on the phone, "I don't think that's right!" I reminded her that when she's staying with her grandma she should go along with what grandma wants her to do, and when she gets home we can go back to our ragtag ways.
But inside I was so proud that she has her own opinions, even about something as simple as whether people will judge you based on your appearance.