“There is always something smaller, and always something bigger” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Angela Renaud, Barry Wihlidal & Braedy McKinnon by ©Lori Maloney

“This shoot stands out:   THREE consecutive generations (dad, daughter, granddaughter/niece) all born on June 1st…with baby Braedy, only 10 days new here! Poor babe wasn’t feeling very well on the day of our shoot but she was a trooper, and we simply shot when we could in between cuddles and feeds. :) My genuine thanks to this family for participating in The Birthday Book Project…with special thanks to Ang for seizing the opportunity to participate in the Project in such a unique way and to Megan (Braedy’s mom) for allowing me into your home and to photograph your baby girl, especially on a day that she wasn’t feeling her best.  We, the TBBP team, are appreciative! Life – and shared birthdays in a family – are beautiful!” – Lori M

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Barry and Angela

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

Angela: I think the best moment/s, would be always being able to celebrate my birthday with my dad. I have the honour of sharing my birthday with him. That’s right, I was born on my dad’s birthday. When I was younger, we would celebrate the same day with two cakes for us. As I got older, we would have two parties. One for just me and my friends and another that I would get to share with him & our family. I think it is such a blessing that I get to share the day with the best MAN that I know.

Barry: Without a doubt, it’s the birth of our first daughter Angela. We knew the date was close, I had my fingers crossed. She waited just long enough. She was born just hours into my birthday.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

Angela: Worst would be either my 11/12 birthday. Had a girls sleepover at my house. Boys weren’t able to come over, but we were all outside and were playing hide & go seek. I was trying to impress the boys and decided to jump over a low chain fence to run away. As I jump, my back foot catches the chain and I face-first into the gravel. I run home, balling my eyes out with nasty road rash on my face. Needless to say I never left my bedroom the rest of the night.

Barry: Nothing really comes to mind. I know I spent one of my birthdays alone and that really sucked.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

Angela: Best present would be getting a text message from my brother-in-law on the morning of my 33rd birthday. My sister was pregnant and due June 7th. I get a phone call at 7:19 am from him saying that she is in labour and to get to the hospital (I was their labour help). It was Monday morning rush hour, and I knew it was going to be challenging to get to the hospital. I drive into the thick of the traffic, hoping I would make it. At 7:39am I get a text message from him saying “Done! Auntie.” with a photo attached of my sister and my brand new baby niece, born on my birthday. And if you read above, not only was she born on my birthday, she was also born on my dad’s birthday. We have a three generation June 1st birthday. Father-Daughter-Grand Daughter

Barry: Without a doubt it was this past one. There were no signs of anything happening with our daughter’s pregnancy, so I went to work like any other Monday. I came home for lunch and my wife called saying we were grandparents again. Our granddaughter was born six days early which surprised us all.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

Angela: My tastes for what I want on my birthday have evolved as I’ve aged. First was ice cream cake. Next was crab legs. Now it’s wine.  A great glass of wine with anything makes my birthday great.

Barry: Growing up we always had a wiener roast for my birthday, so I guess it would be hotdogs and roasted marshmallows.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

Angela: Family, Friends & celebrating another wonderful year of being alive on this beautiful planet. I love to celebrate my birthday, even more so as I get older. I am not scared of my age, as age is only a number. It is how you feel and how you live your life that makes the most impact.

Barry: Being with family. I always had lots of uncles, aunts and cousins come to celebrate with me. I want that for our family as well.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

Angela: Traditions are normally just going out for supper. Whether it is just my son, husband and me, or if there is a large group of friends and family. I just do not want to cook on my birthday.

Barry: Nothing really but as I mentioned earlier, I had the annual wiener roast. It was always a big celebration with lots of family attending. I grew up on a farm so I guess it was a party to celebrate the end of spring seeding. I remember my older sister being a little jealous of the party…her birthday is in November.