“Respect those you meet on the way” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Danielle Deschenes by © Emily Dozois

Image © Emily Dozois

An Interview with Danielle

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. When I turned 17 my friends and sister threw me a surprise birthday party. It was the most special I have ever felt.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. When I was turning 30, my oldest son was to turn 2 about a week following. I was Skyping with my parents, on my 30th birthday. They had not wished me Happy Birthday or mentioned anything to do with my birthday. My mom suggested that we sing Happy Birthday to my son. I replied, “why don’t we sing Happy Birthday to me, since it is my birthday TODAY.” I am actually not upset by this (any more), having kids is great for reminding a person that everything isn’t about you- even your birthday!

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

A. My friend Marni had artwork commissioned featuring my beloved departed cat. It’s beautiful and makes me smile every day when I see it hanging on my wall.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. Cake. I have been known to bake my own cake if I am worried that no one will bake me one or bring me one. Sometimes I end up with two. Which is fine by me, more to share!

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

A. To celebrate it. If no one else is going to make it special (welcome to adult life), make it special yourself! There is always something to be grateful for. 

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. I try to not cook, eat good food (including cake), and do something fun. We make a huge deal of birthdays at our house. It’s lots of fun with three little boys around. Life is worth celebrating!