Leap Year birthdays make for great fun, but only every four years
This coming Saturday, Feb. 29, is Leap Day for 2020. Leap Year happens because the earth takes its sweet time orbiting the sun and we earthlings get stuck with an add-on day every four years.
Leap Year fact: Superman was born on Feb. 29.
If you were lucky/unlucky enough to be born on Leap Day you are among the chosen elite because here in the United States there are only a little over 1400 of you.
Some of those 1400 leaplings, leapers or leapsters, as they are called, live right here in Avoyelles Parish.
Lily Rogers, 7-year old daughter of Glenn and Julie Rogers of Plaucheville, celebrates her leap birthday on Feb. 28. Lily is in the second grade at St. Anthony School in Bunkie.
“My aunt tells me I’m going to be 2-years old,” Lily giggled. The same aunt, Jan McCaleb, told Julie that she was going to have a Leap Year baby and she did.
“The doctor said March 1,” Julie recalled, “he was only off by one day.” Lily came 7:30 at night on a Wednesday.
Although Lily has a birthday celebration every year, her REAL Leap birthday gets more attention.
“We have a lot of family on both sides,” Julie said, “so this birthday will be something more special.”
And what is the birthday cake of choice for Lily, who’s officially 2-years old?
“Chocolate cake,” she said without hesitating, and quickly added, “with strawberry ice cream.”
Leap Year fact: Most countries including the United States recognize March 1 as the legal birthday for leaplings.
Dana “Juba” Normand, who was born and raised in Marksville and now works in Alexandria, will be celebrating his Leap birthday on Friday, Feb. 28.
“As a kid, my parents wanted me to have a birthday,” he said. Feb. 28 was the chosen day. “They never told me anything. Just said I would get a birthday every four years.”
The Normands told Dana that he “was special.”
“That always made me feel important,” Dana commented.
For his real birthday, there was always a bigger party, with friends.
“I never knew anyone else who had a Leap birthday,” he said, “and in middle school my friends would say that I was going to get a real birthday this year.”
Dana went on to explain that he does get funny looks when he’s asked for his information.
“When I give my real birthday information, date of birth as Feb. 29, people don’t believe me, I always get second looks.”
Leap Year fact: Only one person ever was born and died on Leap Day, Sir James Milne Wilson.
Beth Dufour of Plaucheville was born on Leap Day and said without any hesitation, “I like to think I get the entire week, to celebrate.”
Beth’s actual day to celebrate has fluctuated through the years. “My grandmother says March 1, because I would not have been here on Feb. 28.”
Her children, 10-year old Blake and 4-year old Chance, don’t understand why she doesn’t have a birthday every year. “They don’t understand the concept, yet,” she emphasized.
Being born on Leap Day was just another way Beth knew she was unique and had been unique.
“I was born with 12 fingers,” she said, as an example of her one-of-a-kind status.
The small nubs were removed at birth although there is still some remnants on her hands. “It’s a family trait,” she explained.
She was born close to Mardi Gras which is “one of my favorite holidays,” in fact, she added, “king cake is my secret passion, it’s my birthday cake.”
Leap Year fact: There is a club for leaplings, “Honor Society of Leap Year Babies.” Currently the group is over 10,000 members strong with 800 members on Facebook.