CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It now has been 48 years since the spring my husband and I first celebrated Mother's and Father's days as parents.
Our primary memory is of Mother's Day when we ventured to a restaurant with our son, born barely a month earlier.
It's not the food we remember, but the chuckles when after a short wait the hostess announced that a table was ready for the "Bartlett party of three".
We now have survived the toddler years, the teen years, the boomerang year when one returned home with a college degree and a minimum-pay starter job, and weddings.
Now we are long-distant parents and grandparents, trying to stay in contact with our very busy son, daughter, their spouses and their 8-, 11-, and 15-year-olds.
And, yes, worrying about them.
After my brother and I were on our own, my parents fretted about the choices we made, the challenges we faced and, perhaps, their success in parenting as we grew up. Now we do.
Among my treasured memories is the comment from our son after he had been on his own for a while.
He appreciated, he said, that we didn't interfere but let him learn from his own mistakes.
Fortunately none of those errors led to the life-altering consequences we've seen in families of some friends.
More recently he asked me to review his Internet outline of his positions as he runs for school board in his northern Pennsylvania county. For some time he has been attending meetings of the board, armed with facts and computations on a building plan. Last year he showed us the front page newspaper story with his photo and story of his efforts and others with similar concerns.
It's his second attempt at a seat on what seems to me a large and likely unwieldy nine-member board. He was in junior high school in Oregon when I won a board seat in a much smaller rural, mixed-race district on my second try.
Truth to tell, I was very uneasy about reviewing his outline. True, the Pennsylvania system is quite different than that of either Oregon or West Virginia, but more than that, critiquing efforts of offspring is a delicate challenge.
Apparently, I succeeded. He thanked me.