My mother, Diana Weaver Kahan, was a poet. Not a published poet, but a lover of poetry who read to me regularly and occasionally wrote her own. Above is her picture on her honeymoon with my father. I was particularly fond of this poem she wrote in 2004:

Because I have children
I eat strawberries, melon and fruit
Apricots, tomatoes and other root.

Because I have children I eat crow
Along with things that grow
From deep in the ground
And I am vulnerable in ways too profound
To be heard in a word
It must be felt below the belt
And above with laughter and love.

Because I have children
I know the nerves and tendons
Which sustain my deepest feelings and affections.
Sometimes they are raw
And stick in my craw
Yet I am filled with awe –
Real beings pulse my heart strings
There is touching beauty
Along with a determined sense of duty
The aroma of these is fresh and sweet –
Gardenia – or amazing to behold – a patch of zinnia –
With all sensations replete.

Because I have children
I know pain and the essence of rain
Along with sunshine and fine wine –
Rosé to wash the tears away.
I know moonglow coming on tiptoe
And starlight sprinkling the dark night
A spectacle for sight
All these are mine.

Because I have children
Sunlight brings a day full of surprise
And always the enigma of a child
To keep me beguiled.

Because I have children I know joy
But there is no rampart for my heart
I am senseless and defenseless
I am life’s toy.

Because I have children
I seek the way – the Tao
Tell me how!

God of heaven
Tell me again. Is the answer Zen?
My mantra is prayer.
If I can find peace, it is there.

Because I have children
I eat strawberries, watermelon and fruit.
And now I have a grandchild to boot.
I am the root.

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Theodore Hesburgh