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March 17, 2022

Leap Year Babies Celebrate Nontraditional Birthdays

Kimberly+Moon%2C+language+arts+teacher%2C+celebrates+her+fourth+birthday%2C+which+was+also+the+first+time+she+celebrated+on+her+actual+birth+date.+Moon+said+her+parents+celebrated+with+a+frog+theme+since+it+was+on+leap+day.+I+always+had+to+explain+to+my+friends+what+a+leap+year+birthday+meant+when+I+was+younger%2C+Moon+said.+Kids+dont+really+understand+that.
Lisa Moon
Kimberly Moon, language arts teacher, celebrates her fourth birthday, which was also the first time she celebrated on her actual birth date. Moon said her parents celebrated with a frog theme since it was on leap day. “I always had to explain to my friends what a leap year birthday meant when I was younger,” Moon said. “Kids don’t really understand that.”

Later this week, Kimberly Moon, language arts teacher, is celebrating her birthday; she will turn 6 3/4 quarters this year.

Moon was born on Feb. 29, 1996, which is leap day. She said she has always celebrated on February 28 because it is still in February, but her legal birthday is not until March 1 on a non-leap year.

“My dad refuses to tell me ‘happy birthday’ until March 1,” Moon said. “I actually love that he still does that.”

In elementary school, Moon said her classmates would make fun of her because she was always the youngest in the class and didn’t get a real birthday every year.

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“But, once I got to middle school, everyone thought I was so cool,” Moon said. “So, I quickly learned to love my birthday.”

Not a lot of people are in this situation. I guess it’s cool to meet other people with a leap year birthday.

— Caleb Walz

Except for having to wait an extra day to get her driver’s license when she turned 16, Moon said she has had no complaints about when her birthday is.

“It’s such a unique day that I don’t have to share with many people,” Moon said.

Lisa Moon, Kimberly’s mom, said her due date was actually a scheduled c-section surgery, but it was not intentional for it to fall on leap day. Lisa said the doctor’s surgery day was Thursdays, and the surgery just happened to fall on Feb. 29.

“I had the choice of waiting another week, but that was not recommended,” Lisa said. “So, leap day it was.”

Kimberly’s brother and sister thought it was entertaining that she was born on leap day, Lisa said. Someone at the hospital gave the family frog pins to symbolize a new “leap” year baby in the family.

“It seemed unusual and fun,” Lisa said. “We really didn’t think ahead to some of the possible weirdness a leap year baby could entail.”

It’s such a unique day that I don’t have to share with many people.

— Kimberly Moon

Like Moon, Caleb Walz, freshman, said he feels like he has a special connection with a lot of strangers that share his birthday, which is also on the leap day.

“Not a lot of people are in this situation,” Walz said. “I guess it’s cool to meet other people with a leap year birthday.”

Since Walz only gets a “real” birthday every four years, he said his family celebrates him on two days every year, Feb. 28 and March 1. Walz goes out to dinner and opens presents on both days.

Since he was born on Feb. 29, 2008, Walz has only gotten to celebrate on his actual birth date three times.

“I hate when people tell me I’m only 3 years old,” Walz said. “But, I don’t hate my birthday because it makes me unique.”

This story was originally published on Marquette Messenger on February 27, 2023.