Down the Lane: We can’t always hold our child’s hand

This past week I was looking through the “Kentucky Living” magazine.

It is a Clark Energy Cooperative magazine I have enjoyed for years.

I read an article that made the memories of my oldest daughter come swirling through my mind.

The article was about youth from the members of Clark Energy who won a trip to Washington D.C.

Last week my daughter Kim was home while passing through Winchester on a trip with her job. When she picked up the magazine, it brought many memories back for her also.

She laughed and said, “If I only knew then on my first visit to Washington D.C. how many times I would be going back there, I would not have believed it.”

I had to laugh too because I would not have believed it either.

Her first trip to Washington, D.C. was the result of being named Miss Clark Rural Electric the summer before she would enter college. By winning the contest, she was automatically awarded a free trip to Washington, D.C. with other contest winners from Kentucky.

I wish I could say her first trip to Washington, D.C. went perfectly, but it did not.

She had some health issues that resulted in her being admitted to the hospital and given three pints of blood. The leader of the group sat by her bedside and gave me up-to-the-minute accounts of how she was doing.

He told me how impressed he was with her and said she kept him laughing the whole time they were giving her blood. She ended up touring with the rest of the group the next day.

I knew my daughter was smart and I thought she was tough for her age, but I didn’t realize she was that tough.

I will never forget the panic when my daughter’s doctor called me about four hours after she got on the bus to D.C. to tell me she needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Any mother can imagine getting this call and the panic I felt with her so far away from me and not knowing what was going to happen.

It all worked out, however, with me reaching her as soon as she had checked into her room.

She made a lot of friends on that trip. One of the guys she met invited her to his prom in western Kentucky later that year.

As she did on that trip, Kim has always seemed to get through her hard times in life.

Since that trip, Kim has worked in Washington D.C. so often she is a regular there. Just last week, she called me to say she was at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

She is the quality manager for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville.

She is involved in many programs that require her to be in Washington D.C. for meetings and around the country. Kim will turn 50 Aug. 21.

As I looked at the faces on the pages of the “Kentucky Living,” they look so young to me.

I know they are smart kids or they would not have been on that trip, but I remembered how mature I thought Kim was at that age and found it hard to believe they probably have that same maturity and intelligence.

I also thought how quickly those kids would grow up, enter college, have children and have their lives changed, just as my daughter’s has.

It will not always be easy for them.

When tough times have come, Kim has persevered, and I am so proud of her.

She has had opportunities many people can only dream of, but she has also had her share of not-so-perfect times.

She has two beautiful and talented daughters, Stephenie and Olivia.

Kim is a jet-setter, and her job has given her exciting opportunities.

I worry about her safety a lot, so not much has changed since she was 18.

I guess she figured out a long time ago her mom is a worrier when it comes to her kids.

Sometimes she has to remind me she has made it this far in life without me holding her hand.

I do know this: I may not be able to hold her hand throughout her life, but I can always keep her in my heart with love.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.