Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of blog posts by Nebraska’s term-limited senators reflecting on their time in the Nebraska Legislature. We thank them for their dedication and service to Nebraska. In this post, Senator Colby Coash looks back at his eight years representing District 27.
During my campaign for Legislature in 2008, my wife let me know that while the possibility of becoming a Senator might not be certain, the possibility of becoming a father for the first time was. We made the decision to wait until election night to share the news with our families. Our thought was that should the election go in a different direction, we would still have something to celebrate. The rest is history, and we found two ways to celebrate that evening. I spent my first session as a Senator navigating political office while preparing for fatherhood. It was such a whirlwind. Our son, Cole, was born on Sine Die of my first session. I went from Senator to father with no break.
Being the father of a newborn, who to this day thinks his dad works in the coolest building in town, gave me a new lens through which to see early childhood. I was not just hearing about it from First Five, I was living it every day. I was not presented with foreign concepts of childhood, I was witnessing them in real time. What a gift to be able to impact not just my “first five” child, but all of Nebraska’s first five.
Sometimes I feel that my grave may read: “Here lies Senator Coash, who gave us the ability to drink until 2 a.m.” (A feat I achieved after 30 years of effort by my predecessors.) It is really the work I was able to accomplish for some of Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens, its children especially, that I’m most proud of. I was happy to lead efforts providing alternatives to removing children from their homes and giving them improved legal representation through my work over eight years. I suspect God held off on my role as a parent until it really mattered.
Senator Colby Coash