Young at heart: Leap Year ‘children’ speak

By Jayna Strong and Ashley Walton

About one in 1,500 babies were born on Feb. 29, the Leap Year day that occurs every four years.

This 2012 is a Leap Year.

So the big questions are when do Leap Year babies indulge in birthday festivities and how do they feel about Leap Year? February, or March? Love it, or hate it?

“I’ve always had parties on March 1, simply because celebrating a day earlier is bad luck in my book,” said James Laney, a police officer from Orangeburg S.C. “Plus, being a Leap Year baby keeps me young, I’m 56 years old and I’ve only had 16 birthdays.”

“It’s not a big deal to me,” said Christian Arroyo, of North Plainfield, N.J. “I personally just celebrate my birthday Feb. 28, not in March, since I was born in February,” who was hours short of his fifth or 20th birthday.

“I love birthdays, even if it isn’t my own,” said Courtney, a high school student, also from New Jersey. “Unfortunately, I don’t get to have mine every year. I do hate it, I’m technically only 4 years old [or 16] when you think about it. It’s something I haven’t gotten used to yet.”

Chrischele Wright of Brooklyn N.Y., and a Hampton University sophomore criminal justice major, said, “Even though it’s my birthday, it’s also the week of midterms. I will probably spend the majority of the day studying. Who knows, maybe when I’m done, I’ll go out to dinner or do something else with a few of my closest friends.”

While the novelty of Leap Year may seem like a great conversation starter, there is a disadvantage of having a birthday on Feb. 29: Some online applications do not recognize the rare event it as an actual day, said Yvonne Trimm of Atlanta: “I was doing an application for something online last year and when I put in Feb. 29, it said it was invalid and I had entered the wrong date for my birthday. That was not the first time that had happened.”

The telemarketer turns 8 [or 32] today.

The writers are students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

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