Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An A1 Day

Some of us were having birthdays, Ryan (32) and Jonas (10), and we celebrated with birthday lunch in scenic Gardiner, at the A1 Diner. It was freezing cold outside (14 F) and kind of brisk inside---you could tell that there is little insulation going on in the floor at A1, because it's really a historic diner car from the 1940s that is somehow suspended on stilts by the bridge?! So cool. And such amazing food: classic diner food like burgers (local beef) and meat loaf as well as things like Mojito Duck Breast and Asian noodle bowl with 3 types of soy. Really the best french fries ever (and they are real, not from some frozen package) , with little bits of delicious salt on them. Mmmm.
But really the day was about my 10 year-old boy, Jonas. And the day we first met him, in a hospital that was really groovy and absolutely fine with the four grandparents, uncle, and photographer in attendance at the birth. How I trusted Jake so completely to care for me, so I could do the important work of relaxing and letting my body do its work. How Jake was perched on one bumcheek on the side of the bed supporting me and how my stepdad was holding the rest of him up. The first thing Jonas heard in this loud, unwatery world, was the sound of his parents' laughing; there were other moist eyes in the room, but we were overcome with laughter. Here was someone in our arms who was a total stranger to us a moment ago! Everyone saw that Jonas was a boy before we even knew it!
He has always been a storyteller and story-lover, and sometimes a poet. He loves words. He sees numbers like a map in his head. He has always been hungry for the world. He has always known who he is. He has always been my teacher. He is an artist.
It is sometimes hard for us because we are so alike. He can be difficult and rigid and so can I. He has always pushed for more of everything. He is immensely talented. He is sometimes ill-suited to childhood in that he usually has a clear picture in his mind of how things should and can be. I am certain this is how I was as a child (bossy, difficult, not easily maneuvered by adults), and perhaps sometimes how I am now.
Jonas is my boy who is full of twinkles in the blue eyes that come from Nana. He is funny and generous, caring and thoughtful. It has been an adventure to know him these 10 years and I can't remember a time before.


  1. Thank you for the sweet tears in my eyes!

  2. Happy Birthday sweet Jonas...lots of love from Chicago, just blocks from where your story began. L- -Aunt Care

  3. Happy Birthday to your amazing son. A wonderful truth to his person and his being. He must know the love that surrounds him because no one can write as you did and ever know anything but love and magic. Beautiful, Iris. Thank you for the circle of friendship that extends well beyond a computer screen. XO, Ana

  4. It's not very often in our lifetime that we get to actually write a love letter to our children. You did so here, and it was beautiful. How lucky your Jonas is to have you as his mom...

  5. Beautiful!

    I was resisting telling Jonas the bits from our firsts together on the message I left, partly because of time, partly because I wasn't sure if that would be lame or not for a 10-year-old. I remember coming over to babysit him so you could have some time for yourselves, and we would go for long strolls on the Shore Path with the stroller, or bounce forever, looking at the ticking hands on the wall clock or little points of interest. That beautiful lampshade that Jake's mom made out of glass. How he laughed! And in town people would think he was my baby and I wouldn't correct them...partly because it was too complicated (total excuse!) and partly because I liked putting on the mama role and pretending for a little moment.

    Ryan came by last night, and told me about how you and Jake got to start your day at Sacred Sweat, and how Jake had considered going shirtless, in little spandex with a thong, accompanied by a short capelet. I hope I never forget that image (despite the fact that it didn't manifest) because it is priceless. What a wonderful and beautiful family you are! Part of my deepest soul. I love you! And happy birthday to you all (for you all were part of it...) all over again! Love, Hannah