“If you want to get to know yourself, climb on the nearest streetcar” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Elyse Roussel by © Mélissa Pelchat

“Third of June” is not just a song by Corey Hart (despite the fact that I post her the link to it every time it’s Elyse’s birthday, never tiring of my incredible wit), okay? It’s a very special day. I often tell my brother he chose his future wife wonderfully. Sure, she has one of the prettiest faces I’ve seen, but the way she loves my brother and her son fiercely, the infinite patience she shows to those around her, her delicate attentions, the way her face lights up when she expresses a thought, passionately, the soft smile that makes my brother fall in love with her all over again, every time… Those are a few of my favorite things… about Elyse. – Mélissa P

Image  © Mélissa Pelchat

An Interview with Elyse

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

A. In pre-kindergarden, back when I was 4 or 5 years old, I was told I could choose the size of my piece of chocolate cake and leave the rest to my classmates. What a joy! I had waited a long time for that moment!

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I can’t recall any bad memory or event on one of my birthdays.

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

A. I remember a surprise birthday party my mom had planned for my 18th birthday. She had blindfolded me. I thought we were going to a restaurant, but all my friends were waiting for me at her friend’s house. It was better than any present, to me, to be able to celebrate with everyone.

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

A. Not a particular food but I love to go to a fancy restaurant on my birthday with the promise of culinary discoveries. This makes me extremely happy!

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

A. Just the show of love from the ones you care about. It can be very simple, like a call to say happy birthday.

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

A. No.