“In some obscure corners of the world, the Ideal and the Real have consummated a secret marriage” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Meghan Ward by © Camila Gargantini

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Meghan

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

A. I suppose it would be the birthday that never happened! When my daughter was 10 months old we embarked on a 70-day trip through the South Pacific. We left Canada on February 21 and flew across the International Date Line to New Zealand, landing on February 23. It happened to be (or not be!) my 30th birthday. Ironically, we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday the following month in Auckland, and then flew back across the date line – back in time – and so she woke up to her birthday again the next day. Anyways, it makes for great birthday memories because of the adventure surrounding it.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I can’t pinpoint one, but my birthday is smack in the dead of winter when most of us are fighting some kind of cold or flu. I remember a few birthdays where I was sick, and one when I was younger and my family went to Rockin’ Johnny’s in Kanata (where I grew up) to celebrate, and I could barely keep my head upright.

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

A. I wish I had a better memory! I’m sure there are many from my childhood (I have some very thoughtful people in my life!) Unfortunately, no gifts come to mind that surprised me, but there was one memorable surprise party my housemates arranged when I was in university. They kidnapped me and put me in the back of a car and drove so erratically to confuse me that I nearly tossed my cookies. I went in the front door, pretty much green in the face, to the SURPRISE! of about 20 friends and family members. Fun times. :)

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

A. Not particularly, but some form of chocolate is always necessary. When I was a kid, my mom would make the most amazing cakes in whatever shape we asked for.

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

A. Ever since I became a mother, the idea of a ‘birthday’ has taken on all new meaning. It’s important to honour the person whose birthday it is, but I wish our society would also recognize the parents or guardians for the hard work they do to raise that person and support them year-by-year. I know I look at my parents very differently now that I have my own family.

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

A. For the past four years, I have escaped to the spa and pools at the Banff Springs Hotel on my birthday. I go all alone and spend the whole day there. It probably says a lot about me that I enjoy spending my birthday alone – not that I don’t like people, but I seldom get to enjoy my own company, so I take advantage of it. I go up with a notebook or journal and a good book and just forget about the world for a day. It’s heaven.