Chery Lowe turns 48 today, but since she was born in a leap year she has fun manipulating the calendar.
“I like to tell my grandchildren that I’m younger than they are. I’m 12,” said the Harlem resident, who often wanted two birthday parties growing up – one on Feb. 28 and the other on March 1. “It blows their mind.”
Leap year, which most of the time comes every four years, originated from Julius Caesar in the Roman empire as a way to keep the modern calendar aligned with Earth’s revolution around the sun.
A leap year consists of 366 days, one more than the normal period.
The significance of a birthday falling on Feb. 29 didn’t immediately sink in for Pam James Doumar and her daughter, Emily Doumar.
Now, Emily says people never forget her special day.
“You still have a party no matter what day your birthday is,” she said.
This year marks four leap years, or her sweet 16.
Her maternal great-grandmother was also a leap day baby.
“That was just the day she was meant to come,” Doumar said of her daughter. “She gets a big kick out of it.”
Stephen Posey remembers registering for the draft on his actual 18th birthday.
Lightheartedly, he told the clerk “Well, I’m not but 4½.”
“She looked at me and said, ‘Forget it. You will register right now,’ ” said Posey, the owner of Posey Funeral Directors in North Augusta.
Posey’s friends and family surprised him with a sweet 16 party Friday. The cake had a photo from his senior year at North Augusta High School.
The uniqueness of leap day birthdays gives Greg Cole, of North Augusta, a good conversation starter.
He has known two co-workers to share his birthday. Cole turns 13 leap years today, or 52.