Statistics say that about 200,000 Americans and 4.1 million people worldwide are Leap Year babies, born on February 29, the day that comes only once every four years. I am one of them. People ask if it’s weird only having a birthday every four years. But celebrating on the 28th, the not-quite-date, is normal for me, so it’s the 29ths that are weird.
I can’t remember not understanding how weird this is. When I was little, I used to get my picture in the local paper on February 29th. In more recent times, a friend who was working for South Dakota Public Radio interviewed me for a story. (This year, Jackson and Steph from our sister station Today’s Q106 had me on their show for a couple of minutes to talk about it—that conversation is here.) Most of the time, however, my birthday is just a birthday, and it feels the same to me as yours does to you.
(Once my nephews figured out they’d had more birthdays than I’d had, they thought it was hilarious.)
This birthday also has a round number attached, one I’m not entirely thrilled about. But I try to approach every birthday, not just the ones on February 29th, with the rough grace of baseball pitcher Satchel Paige, whose own age was a mystery even to him. He supposedly said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
Read more of Jim Bartlett’s blogs here.
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