We always ate dinner around the dining room table, Mom at one end, Dad at the other, two girls on one side and one girl and the boy on the other. After Dad said grace we started eating. The kids talked about what happened at school that day.
One evening I noticed that Liz, our first-grader, was unusually quiet. I asked her how her day had been, and she burst into tears. As she sniffled and sobbed, she blubbered out her day.
Her Mom and Dad had let her down! Neither one had come to the teacher's tea party for parents! Two other boys had no parents there also. The teacher ran out of paper cups, and Liz and the two boys were made to drink out of envelopes!
By the time Liz finished her story we all were crying with her. Glenn and I both apologized. We promised Liz that we would never miss anything again.
Liz finally calmed down and was able to finish her dinner. Then the other children said to us accusingly, “Why weren’t you there, Mom and Dad?
It was our first year at that school, and we didn’t realize what a tradition it was for this teacher's tea party. I will never forget how forlorn Lizzie was that night, and I don’t think we ever missed any event of hers all through grammar school and high school — even if we had to stretch the truth a bit to our employers!
One plus to this event was that, as a teacher, I could always understand and give special attention to the children who had no parents attend school events.