It’s amazing the life lessons we can learn through our kids. Fascinating, really, if we’re willing to watch.

What I think is “absolutely obscure,” Judah finds highly “entertaining.” My one hoodie string, for example, was the subject of about 20-minutes worth of mouth time the other morning.

And then there was the wrapping paper.


A whole 30-minutes later, he was still at it.


And the only reason it wasn’t mangled to shreds (or ingested) was due to a thin foil coating (still intact).

But the process of discovery seems to be the same, no matter our age. We see something we’ve never seen before, do something brand new, and it’s exciting. Fresh. A new job. Marriage. Friendships, church activities, even a new restaurant opening down the street.

Then I noticed that while Judah was busy discovering wrapping paper, Luik had disregarded the stuff, opting for the new set of Duplos he’d just received. Yes, the expression “One man’s junk…” came to mind. Because at some point, “the new” gets filed in the “the old” box, and loses its charm. Wrapping paper for Duplos, Duplos for a video game, video games for a job, job for a car, car for a wife, and a wife for kids–the little poop-smearing cherubs that remind you what it was like to eat wrapping paper. (How’s that for a progression?)


As human beings, we’re born into the habit of interest exchange. I haven’t spent that much time with Legos, or even hoodie strings for that matter, in a very long time. Why? They simply don’t interest me that much. I’m busy with other things.

But is that it? Is that really the reason? Am I just older? New priorities? Or is it something else?

Clothing ties and plastic blocks still have their place in life. Still are important. Just not to me. Because somewhere along the line, I stopped being what my two sons are.


Judah has never seen a hoodie string before. And everything new goes in the mouth. Sure, his brain is the size of a large orange, and the emotion of gratitude may not register. (OK, a very large orange). But you don’t stick something in your mouth for 20-minutes unless you like it. A lot. And Luik, likewise, just received a very cool gift, which–if he’s anything like his father (previous posts telling us that he is)–he’ll be playing with it for a long time to come. Am I so far advanced beyond my sons that these items are trivial now? No. Because the items have not changed. They are very much the same as they were in the 1980’s I grew up in.

I have changed.

I have become less grateful. For everything.

May my sons always appreciate hoodie ties and Duplos. They’re in the top one percent of children who have them, and it’s my job to model that statistic with the attitude of gratefulness.

What are a few “mundane” things in your life that you’re refreshingly grateful for after reading this? ch:




Billy.J · 12 Dec ’09 at 9:02 am

You’re so right Christopher. The “mundane” things for me would be stuffed animals and toy dinosaurs. I was all over both of them as a kid, and now, I never touch them. I’m too busy reading, doing school, writing my book, or as you said, playing video-games. Universes don’t save themselves after all, someones gotta do it. 🙂

Rachel H. · 12 Dec ’09 at 9:45 am

The privilege of being raised in a Christian family that loves the Lord and wants God’s will for my life! 😀

Storyteller · 12 Dec ’09 at 11:29 am

I see my hoodie strings in a whole new way! 🙂

*ahem* Seriously, that is a very thought-provoking post, Sir Hopper. Especially this time of year. Thank you for sharing your musings with us.

Sam · 12 Dec ’09 at 12:07 pm

That was a post laced with humorous pics, but good ideas being propagated. I only wish….tpm had a watch ;P


Sam · 12 Dec ’09 at 12:11 pm


Well I see how they are tied together I believe. But, what to do with it, idk.

debbie baker · 12 Dec ’09 at 12:11 pm

so when are you going to put all these very interesting little stories in a book

Seth · 12 Dec ’09 at 1:35 pm


I know something’s here, almost positive, but I cannot seem to find it, *scratches head*

Seth · 12 Dec ’09 at 3:40 pm

RE? Humph!

Christopher Hopper · 12 Dec ’09 at 5:25 pm

Billy: They do not save themselves indeed! Keep going, for the sake of humanity!
Rachel: That is something to be grateful for indeed!
Storyteller: You’re most welcome. Hoodie strings: check!
Sam: You and this watch. I think YOU need a watch! lol
Debbie: You’ve really got me thinking about this! Might have to make a compilation in 2010.
Seth: Re: what?

Nathan Petrie · 12 Dec ’09 at 9:21 pm

Great post CH. Seems you’ve had a lot of good ones lately. I feel like I know Luik, Judah, and Eva already o.O Is that strange? ::laughs::

Anywho, I like reading your blog. Especially when it involves strings and such, partly because they fascinate me as well. Wonderful little things. The phrase, another man’s treasure, also came to my mind.

Great post my friend 🙂

Jason Clement · 13 Dec ’09 at 12:42 am

Great stuff! You’re knocking ’em out of the park lately. We’ve been talking about Advent Conspiracy (http://www.adventconspiracy.org/) at church and in doing so I’m trying to make a conscious effort to be GRATEFUL for all the things I’m blessed with… yet don’t make me “happy”. It’s amazing how difficult that can be, especially in this season of buy, buy, buy. I know I have a 55″ inch TV, but, ooooo check out that 64″ flat screen. There’s a pile of old Apple computers scattered around my house and office… but I want the NEWEST one (I’ve yet to suppress that urge!). On and on it goes. What’s funny to me is the peace and happiness that I find when finding the time and sitting down with my kids, a coloring book and crayons, or a big bucket of LEGOs, etc. Simple. Sweet.

Tell Luik I’m up for a Saturday of Duplos anytime!

reenie · 13 Dec ’09 at 5:14 pm

Still love to color….I could spend hours doing that. The mundane is only mundane if we let itbe mundane – laundry for my 10 year old is an adventure- for me – it has become a chore…..what happen – I lost the appreciation for what others all over the world do not have – a washing machine. Shoveling to Trace is all about making a path in the snow – to me it’s just getting it done- yet again …..He is having an absolutly fabulous time with the adventure of the “job” ….while I just want to get it done! The perspective is so important- thanks for the reminder Chris- love it !!!!

Celebrilomiel · 13 Dec ’09 at 9:30 pm

You’re so very right, Mr. Hopper. Thank you for the thought provoking post.nMy baby sister recieved a coloring book for her birthday, and as I helped her, I rediscovered the fun of coloring. I’m realizing that the little ‘childish’ things that I brush past to go on to bigger, harder things are still valid, still fun, and can be just as inspiring as the higher things that I set my mind to achieve.

Christopher Hopper · 14 Dec ’09 at 11:05 am

Nathan: Thanks for the kind words. You are a blessing, bro. And you have a very keen eye as well when it comes to musings.
Jason: Man, do I hear that. So true. We live in the top 1% wealthiest people on the planet, and yet we tend to be so discontent. May the Lord change our hearts. Great website link; thanks for sharing for everyone. And I’ll tell Luik you said so…
Reenie: You’re most welcome! Thanks for sharing, Reenie. Great examples.
Celebrilomiel: <--that is quite the name! Good point! [goes to drag out coloring book] ch:

    Jason Clement · 18 Dec ’09 at 3:00 am

    Now I’m thankful I’ve got your comments working…

mommy jojo · 22 Dec ’09 at 10:32 pm

How long did he chew on the string, 20 minutes and then 30 minutes? Did you leave him sitting there alone? Just kidding i will still make you your potato soup 🙂 Secondly was that string clean? I really loved what you said about the mundane things of life…. I am still thinking about what i personally like.
Love you,

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