ONE YEAR AGO:
Things Connor Learned When He Was Three:
to buckle his own seat belt
to pedal a tricycle
to poke his own straw into his juice box and open his snack
to jump on one foot
vowels, syllables, long and short sounds
addition and subtraction
to pick out his own clothes
to button and snap
to make his bed
to brush his teeth
to read “big kid books” like Tiger Can't Sleep without help
to build a castle in a sandbox
to count to thirty, unassisted. To one hundred with help on the tens
that a skinned knee is not a mortal wound
to bravely try new foods, like olives
that live theatre can be even better than a movie
that planting a seed is an exercise in patience
that the dentist isn't scary
that every patch of grass is not a potty
that sometimes people we love die
That Mommy and Daddy love him, even when they're furious
that earthworms poop, just like everyone else
that he shouldn't write the word “poop” on his schoolwork
that toothpaste makes excellent fingerpaint, but it's controversial
that cartoons are make-believe
that not everything we eat is healthy
that God sees us, even though we can't see Him
that it's a good idea to wait until your sister is napping to build a block tower
that sometimes, pointing out how someone is different can hurt their feelings
that sleeping is virtually impossible when you're expecting a visit from Santa Claus
that girls love getting flowers
that grown-ups cry when they're happy and when they're sad
that peanut butter and jelly is the balm that soothes all evil
that occasionally, the best part of a football game is getting ice cream with Daddy afterwards
that nobody really knows where Heaven is
that green beans turn to liquid when they're held in your mouth for thirty minutes
that caterpillars don't bite
that box turtles don't bite either, but they pee
that God loves him more than Mommy and Daddy do. And that's a LOT
Things Connor Learned When He Was Four
Counting by two's and tens
Major systems in the human body (nervous, digestive, circulatory, etc)
Blood cells—type/function (the coolest stuff ever!)
How to draw a model of a DNA double-helix. And label it!
Names of planets and other spacy facts
To count to one hundred, unassisted
To add simple numbers in his head
That Darth Vader is the most awesome villain in existence.
That Mickey Mouse is a lot bigger in person
That super-fast rides at theme parks, especially ones that drop you, are best left to the seasoned thrill-seekers.
That having your own bike is the next best thing to owning a driver's license.
That a joke stops being funny when you tell it nine times in a row.
That watching a person have their blood drawn is really cool, but when it's you under that needle...well...it's possible to lose consciousness for a second or two.
That even things we can't appreciate—like mosquitoes and germs—are wonders of God. And He doesn't make mistakes.
That video games are amazing, but not as much fun as an actual light saber battle.
That Dad really is just about the coolest guy alive.
That sleeping in a makeshift hammock is far superior to sleeping in an actual bed, even if said hammock is suspended just three inches from the lower mattress of aforementioned bed.
That boys need to stick together.
That girls need protecting. Especially Moms and sisters.
That girls enjoy being told how pretty they look.
That girls will take any carefully constructed carpet battle scene and turn it into a tea party in seconds flat. And not comprehend your fury.
That most things you see in movies are fake.
That a love for chocolate does not diminish with age.
That sometimes the hardest thing is the thing you have to do.
That even grownups have to be obedient to someone.
That baby teeth don't begin to fall out until you're five or six. Shoot.
That Jesus loves Connor enough to die for him.
That no matter how big we grow, cuddles are important.
That head-wounds bleed more than they probably should, and that Mom should probably wait to examine the wound after it's been stitched up.
That underwear needs changing daily. Even if you can't tell it's dirty.
That taking time to aim before you use the toilet saves Mom a lot of yelling.
That “table manners” are really just a bunch of random rules adults made up to zap every bit of the fun out of a meal.
That dogs aren't always cooperative, but it's nice to have a friend who's willing to sleep under your bed when it's dark.
That popsicles taste better when they come from the ice cream truck.
That snowmen are not as easy to build as you'd think