It’s funny sometimes, how the human mind works. Of course, there’s nothing actually special about leap years or leap days. They’re just a relatively convenient way of dealing with the fact that one naturally occurring phenomenon (the time it takes our planet to rotate once about its axis) does not evenly divide another (the time it takes our planet to revolve once about its star). Nevertheless, there’s something deep inside of us that marks this day as somehow special — maybe even a little magical.
So, what are you doing with your extra, magical day this year?
I confess, that I at first had two other idea for this blog post, but it turned out that neither was actually a good idea. (Well, they were both good ideas, in the abstract, just not good ideas for this blog).
The first was to suggest that you make leap day — both this year and every year — a second birthday celebration, but counting in leap years. The problem is, that idea stops being fun by about age 40. So, if you’re 40, the idea would be you’re celebrating your 10th birthday on leap day, and I think adults could throw quite the exciting “10 year old’s party” for a 40 year old. Your average 24 year old could probably even have an exciting 6-year-old birthday party for himself, with cake, and friends, and maybe dressing up in costumes, and maybe going for a bike ride. And I still think this is a grand idea, but by the time you’re your age, or the age of your parents, it doesn’t sound like quite as much of a good idea. Maybe, just maybe, taking your 84 year old mom out for a shot on her “21st” birthday may be a good idea; but what would it even mean for a 76 year old to celebrate a 19th birthday?
The I thought I’d google around for what other people are doing on leap day. It turns out there are some very strange traditions. Apparently, it’s the Sadie Hawkins Day of marriage (see items 5-7). I had no idea.
Bill Kalmar, a frequent op-ed contributor in our neighboring state to the north, put together an interesting list of things to do on leap day. He mentioned in that article that he has friends who were married on the 29th of February, which got me thinking that celebrating leap-anniversaries might make more sense than celebrating leap birthdays (been married 52 years so far? Why not celebrate your leap-lace anniversary?)
So, as I said, neither of those ideas were getting me anywhere. Which led me to where I finally got. To wit, asking you, dear readers: what are you doing with your parents on this magical, extra day this year? Comments below or on social media are highly encouraged!