Children Are Wet Cement Make The Right Impression On Their Lives


The date was August 21, 1998. While Walker would be homeschooled for first grade (a big change as I had NEVER been a home school teacher), his big sis, Leah would begin 4th grade at a new school. We were so thankful that our friend, Martha, who had a 4th grader at the same school had the foresight to plan a pool party for a bunch of Leah’s future classmates. But, still, a new school awaited her. Leah was so nervous. Add to that, the day before, sadly, our 14-year-old golden retriever had a stroke.

Leah and Riley, 1998

After delivering Leah for her first day, Walker and I would be taking him to the vet, probably for an euthanasia. Leah, age 9 understood what that would entail…her coming home and her beloved Riley not being there to greet her with a wagging tail. Yes,  Change is Life and Life is Change.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C.S. Lewis

Paired with our mourning the death of our long-time pet, Leah’s apprehension and tears caused me to somewhat question our decision to change schools. I prayed a lot for guidance in those days when my kids were small, and I still do today. As we pray, I think it is important to trust our God-given parental instinct in which He equips each one of us with. As parents and grandparents, many of us can tell stories and give examples about times we were guided and directed by His unseen hand. As a Mom who has two grown and married children, I advise you, especially if you are in the years of parenting young people, to (1) Pray A lot and (2) Trust your gut, your instinct, when making important decisions for your precious children.


Yes, it is a new school year and I betcha this means a lot of big changes for you, your children, your grandchildren…A LOT of changes! “Meet and Greets” will be happening all over our country soon. Is your baby or grandchild beginning a milestone school year? For some, it means spending hours at Bed, Bath, and Beyond picking out all the things on the list for a dorm room. For others, it involves shopping for new shoes, checking off items on a school supply list or being a brand new teacher, like my friend, and neighbor Sarah Frances who is setting up a classroom for the very first time.  It may even mean you’re attending the college graduation of your last child, like my dear friend, Cindy will be doing this Saturday, August first, on the campus of Auburn University. Or your days may not surround school at all for the moment, and you may be celebrating the birth of a new grandchild, like our friends, Dave and Judy.

Back to school design over white background, vector illustration

Whatever your life circumstances these days, I bet there are some changes for you with a new school year around the corner , and I’m quite sure that with those yellow school buses rolling again, you are having that feeling of CHANGE, too!

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

As a teacher at DeKalb County’s Avondale Elementary for many years before Leah’s birth, my mind is also on the teachers who will be greeting their new students in just a few days. Teachers are an invaluable gift. I encourage you to pray for these who will be with your children throughout the school days.IMG_4793

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)

Children are a gift, too! In their loudness, their messiness, their goofiness, their immaturity and lack of good choices, they are still a precious gift. While they will NEVER admit this to you, children WANT boundaries! Give them these boundaries they need to be successful in their growing up years. Give them a safe place to fall. Pray for them and with them as they find their way in school from making friends to achieving in their school work.IMG_4797

And we Parents and Grandparents are gifts. I once read a book entitled Children are Wet Cement: Make the Right Impression in Their Lives. I don’t remember much about the book, but I have never forgotten the title. We as adults have an amazing privilege and a keen responsibility to make the right impression in the lives of those young ones who are in our sphere of influence. Let’s read with them, laugh with them, play with them, pray with them, eat dinner with them. For they truly are like wet cement, so during this start of a new school year, this time of so much change, let’s make the right impression in their lives.IMG_4796Time goes by no matter what.

What can you and I do to make lasting

memories for the ones we love the very most?

HERE is a picture taken in 1995 of Leah and Walker playing in the snow with Riley. Today, Walker is 23 and Leah is 27. Where does the time go?… we ask…While we did not manage to eat together every single night, we did very often and one of the ways we struck up good discussions is by going around the table and asking this question: “What was a ‘high’ and a ‘low’ from your day?”



8 thoughts on “Children Are Wet Cement Make The Right Impression On Their Lives

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences (again!) The 6yo here wanted to make globes before Christmas and your insight will guide me to redirect to another project…maybe go to Dollar Tree and buy one for each kiddo! Honestly, the DIY instructions do look &##1.0;simple2&88222;

  1. Oh, Joan, how I love this post! It brought back so many memories. And I love that you posted Calvin and Hobbes AND The Family Circus, two of my very favorite cartoons. Soooo much teaching in those strips! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sandy! This response will post as “anonymous”, like above, but it’s me, Joan! I just love those cartoons from our past, & I have always been especially fond of Ziggy! Happy this triggered some good memories for you.

  2. Yes. Good reminders about holding them up in prayer and trusting your instincts. Thanks Joan. Chase is going to lose stuff and have some missteps, and he’s still going to be fine. He’s a man of character and he’s going to have some great experiences! Dropping him off was melancholy, but I am over the moon that he is starting this new adventure! He is ready.

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