On the 29th of February, 1996, my parents welcomed their third and favourite* daughter into the world.
*Favourite status is not confirmed, but I’m pretty confident.
Controversial: Should you sing Happy Birthday in restaurants? Post continues below.
I was a newborn, so initially I couldn’t really grasp that I was born on a ‘special’ day. But it didn’t take me too long to realise that being born on a leap year comes with its own unique set of experiences that only 0.07 per cent of the population understand:
- We’re pretty rare. There is a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on a leap day.
- Leap years are also Olympic years, so on the rare occasion someone asks, “When are the next Olympics?”, I’m ready (some might even say I was born ready to answer that question).
- I always have a fun fact for uncomfortable ice-breaker activities. It’s foolproof, sparks conversation and takes the anxiety out of the introductory exercise that should really be illegal.
- The funniest assumption people have is that I just don’t celebrate a birthday during the three years in between leap years. Imagine if my parents just ignored all ages other than 4, 8, 12, 16 etc.
- People remember your birthday because you’re likely the only person they know born on a leap year.
- If you grew up as an attention seeker (such as childhood me, who was rarely in anything other than sequins), people tend to make a fuss about your birthday – even on the off-years. I get two birthdays: the 28th and the 1st.
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