All three of our children were home at the same time for the first time this summer for one last hurrah before school starts back. All summer, I have been trying to find a time when we could all be together to log some sandbar or boating time.

After completing the required list of weekend chores, we assembled on the dock to enjoy a few hours in the middle of the May River. Unfortunately, thermostat and water pump issues allowed us to make it only a few docks down before having to grab hold of a passing dock, allow the motor to cool, and then paddle back home.

What started out with such great promise and expectation quickly turned to a high-tension paddling exercise as we fought against the tide to try to get the boat back to and on the lift.

As soon as the boat was secured, I started trying to map out and schedule how and when I could tow the boat to Alljoy and arrange for repairs.

As usual, my bride was able to redirect our attention and frustration from the failed outing to a lovely and less distracting period of simple family time sitting on the end of the dock enjoying each other and our setting.

This was the first time in too many years that I could recall all of us just hanging out on the dock, being together. With a rising college senior who is also the student body president of the University of South Carolina, a rising USC sophomore who is very engaged in fraternity activities, and a rising high school senior, our schedules rarely afford us opportunities like yesterday – and yet it really does seem like only yesterday we spent every summer weekend in the river and at the “little sandbar.”

Being a father is one of the greatest joys in my life. I wish I could push a pause button just for a little extra time with each of them.

Typically, the end of summer for the legislature means fall planning meetings, committee hearings, and prefiling deadlines before we return to session in January. In the next few weeks we will be returning to Columbia to debate controversial legislative action in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court did not end a woman’s right to abortion, but correctly turned the abortion issue back to the states, undoing that which even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg called “heavy-handed judicial intervention” and argued that the Roe Court “ventured too far in the change it ordered and presented an incomplete justification for its actions.” 

The recent decision is a victory for federalism and a step toward balancing the rightful authority of the states versus the federal government, so that each state can decide the best approach for its citizens.

As with all matters we are called to vote on, I welcome and look forward to your input.           

Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.