It was a cold, rainy Friday night, and normally it would be understandable that the house wasn't packed at a meeting with school officials.
But the topic of the public forum concerned our children's safety in the schools.
The discussion should have been of interest to more than the 30 parents who showed up.
Even some of the top school administrators and educators didn't turn out for the discussion, or not as many as we would have expected.
We appreciate the school officials who attended and those who organized the forum. The presenters explained the measures that are in place to protect our children and took questions from the audience.
The information was valuable and reassuring.
But the basic, underlying theme of the evening, evident in the empty seats in the spacious, echoing auditorium, was the lack of parental involvement.
Parents are busy today, working to keep their families fed, clothed and housed. We know that.
And there are many single parents out there doing their best to make ends meet.
People don't have a lot of time. But time is the issue.
Over and over again, at the meeting we heard that there is no substitute for giving our children time -- time to talk, time to listen, time to feel loved.
In our busy lives, what sense does it make to work so hard at keeping a household together if our children's lives are in danger of falling apart?
And, as many grandparents reading this editorial know, time runs out much too fast.