“I heard someone say, “Most of life is a gray area”” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Kirsten Longing by ©Lori Maloney

“I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter subject nor a more beautiful day for this shoot! The lovely young Kirsty thought a shot in the park near her school (which happens to be where I attended elementary!) would be great, and I agreed.  Kirsty loves gymnastics and so I got to see some of her impressive moves, she climbed a tree, and we relaxed on the lawn a little too!  There were so many shots that I wanted to submit, alas I thought this one best conveyed Kirsty’s sunny and warm personality! Toward the end of our session, Kirsty’s mom, Sally, and I discovered a friend connection…in fact it was on our mutual friend’s Facebook page that she’d read about The Birthday Book Project!  So, thank you Carolyn for making the project available to those in your circle – it was my delight to photograph Kirsty! Thanks again to Kirsty for participating and to Sally for setting it up and assisting ‘on set’ ;)!” – Lori M

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Kirsten

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

A. My best memory from one of my birthdays, was when I went to Lloyds with all my friends  When we unwrapped the presents I got a HUGE stuffed monkey. Everybody wanted to hold it, and they all wrestled me for it. I kept on jumping to not allow them to hold, because it was so FUZZY. And then my mom said: CUPCAKES! And everybody rushed to the table, and while I was distracted Greta grabbed the monkey out of my hands.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. The worst memory of all my birthdays was after my party at Lloyds. I invited my friends Sydney, and Mia for a sleepover. I set up a tent outside for us to sleep in. It was covered with stuffies, blankets, and pillows. I thought it was going to be fun. But around 10:00 pm Sydney and Mia both called their parents to go home. It left me miserable because I spent so much time putting the tent together, and then everybody left.

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

A. The present that surprised me the most was when I got a iPod nano. I got it for my 8th birthday. It suprised me because I didn’t think I was going to get one. I didn’t have any of my own devices, so I didn’t expect to get one. When I got it I screamed! I was so suprised and overjoyed.

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

A. I always have Ice cream cake on my family birthday party. I get it from Dairy Queen. I love it because I LOVE ice cream. And the fudge in the middle of it is mouth watering. I also always have Baked potatoes with cheese in them for supper. I also have amazing tapioca buns that my mom makes. They are DELICIOUS! 

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

A. I think the most important aspect of celebrating your birthday is to celebrate it with family and friends. I think that because if you just celebrated it by yourself it wouldn’t mean anything. But, if you celebrate it with your friends and family, you can have fun, laugh, and share memories.

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

A. The only tradition that my family has is to sing happy birthday in French and English. We do this because both my parents speak French, and my siblings and I all go to French school. We’ve been doing it since I was 4 or 5.