“What is the moment? We are only here, in the moment, if we share space and time with what we observe” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Rachel Baker by © Cyndal Lorch

Image by © Cyndal Lorch

An Interview with Rachel

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

A. My whole 10th birthday was very memorable. I had never had a party, not at my house, and my parents  said that because I was turning 10 I could have a big party somewhere else. We went to a local art studio and made jewelry with all my friends then some of them came back to my house for a sleepover. Also, my invitations were a CD with a PowerPoint that my Dad and I had made with the details. One of the party loot bags items was also I CD, it had all my favourite songs on it for my friends to hear.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Also at my 10th birthday party, my best friend (at the time) got sick overnight before the party. I was so excited to have her come and be part of my sleepover but her mom called the morning of the party and said she could not come. I was devastated! I wanted to cancel the whole thing because she could not come. In the end my mom convinced me to have the party anyway and that she and I could have a sleepover another day and that I could make some jewelry for her and along with her loot bag bring it to her the next day after my other friends had gone home from the sleepover.

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

A. One of the best presents I have ever received for my birthday was when I turned 16 and my three best friends from High School each bought me a Harry Potter book (Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince) knowing that I was at that point in reading the books but also knowing that I wanted to buy the last book myself. On top of that they each wrote an inscription in the book they bought for me.

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

A. I must have a pistachio pudding cake, usually for my actual birthday. Then I’ll have a regular white cake for my party. There must be cake and lots of it!!

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

A. The most important aspect of celebrating a birthday is being with people you love. That can be family, friends or maybe a significant other but no matter what, it is important to be loved and to feel special on your birthday.

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

A. In my house on your birthday the “number fairy” comes and visits. They leave a trail of numbers (each piece of paper has your new age on it) from your bed to the kitchen to greet you in the morning. In my house there is also the belief that on the eve of your birthday you go away and a new version of yourself comes back in your new age. So you as you are now stays that age forever and there will be an exact same you but one year older coming when you sleep. Also you don’t just disappear, you move on to another house. Just before you go to bed my dad will come in to your room and say good-bye, be nice to your new family and to let the new version of you know that they should be nice and helpful.