“Wishes too often come true” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Image © Emily Dozois

An Interview with Nadia

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

A. My best memory is my 7th birthday. I had my party at Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary. I spent the day with my friends and hung out with Andy Parent and the animals. Instead of receiving presents, I asked my friends and families to donate money to Big Sky Ranch to help the animals. I have been doing this ever since (for the past 8 years!).

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I do not have a worst – as long as there is cake, I am happy! (also being with friends)

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

A. I have not really gotten birthday presents for the past 8 years, so this is hard to answer. The best surprise I got was when Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary named a kitten after me as a thank you for all the money I raised. It was weird being at Big Sky and hearing people call my name – but they were actually calling the cat! Nadia was eventually adopted by a nice family.

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

A. CAKE!!!!!!!!!! Chocolate cake is my favourite.

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

A. Some important aspects about celebrating a birthday are that everyone is happy and having fun and that the reason for the occasion (the birthday) is celebrated. Also being with friends and family is important too. For me, an important thing on my birthday is helping others – especially the animals at Big Sky Ranch. I do not need any presents, so I would rather give to someone who needs the help or who can not help themselves (animals).

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

A. In our house, the birthday person gets to have a birthday dinner at whatever restaurant they choose or whatever kind of food they want. We also try to surprise the birthday person with a cake. And of course, the birthday person gets to blow out the candles!