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Leap year birthday holds meaning for Oakland twin boys

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The Leap Year: A Quirky Quirk of Time

The leap year, with its extra day tagged onto the calendar every four years, is more than just a quirk of time. It’s a fascinating phenomenon with a rich history intertwined with human civilization and the quest for precision in measuring time.

Ancient Roots: The concept of a leap year has ancient origins, with civilizations like the Egyptians and Romans devising early attempts to synchronize their calendars with the solar year. The Egyptians were among the first to recognize the need for an additional day, introducing a leap year system around 4,000 years ago. However, it was Julius Caesar who, in 45 BCE, implemented the Julian calendar, incorporating a leap year every four years.

The Julian Calendar: Named after Julius Caesar, the Julian calendar established the 365-day year with a leap year occurring every four years, a system close to the 365.25-day solar cycle. This adjustment aimed to align the calendar with the seasons, essential for agricultural and societal purposes.

Gregorian Reform: Despite its accuracy, the Julian calendar accumulated a slight discrepancy over centuries. By the 16th century, this misalignment amounted to about ten days, prompting Pope Gregory XIII to introduce reforms in 1582. The Gregorian calendar, as it became known, retained the leap year every four years but introduced a rule to skip leap years in century years not divisible by 400, effectively refining the system and minimizing the seasonal drift.

Modern Application: Today, the Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar worldwide. Leap years play a crucial role in maintaining synchronization between the calendar and the solar year, ensuring that our annual cycles align with the changing seasons.

Cultural Significance: Beyond its practical implications, the leap year has seeped into cultural lore and traditions. In many societies, leap years are associated with superstitions, folklore, and peculiar customs. For instance, in some cultures, it’s considered unlucky to marry or make major life decisions during a leap year.

Leap Year Babies: One of the most endearing aspects of leap years is the phenomenon of “leaplings” or “leap year babies” – individuals born on February 29th. These rare occurrences add a touch of whimsy to the calendar, prompting celebrations and special recognition every four years for those born on this unique day.

Erickson family

The Erickson family from Oakland eagerly anticipates February 29th every four years, a day imbued with special significance for them. Their twin boys, born just 11 minutes apart, straddle the boundary between February 28th and Leap Day, making this date a double celebration in their household.

“On mornings like this, with three boys, it’s a whirlwind,” remarked Summer Erickson, the twins’ mother, on the occasion of her older twin, Miles’, birthday. The morning routine is a bustling affair with breakfast battles, teeth brushing reminders, and multiple wardrobe changes before school.

Amidst the chaos, the twins, Miles and Walter, along with their older brother Bruce, indulge in their favorite pastime of basketball in the kitchen, much to their parents’ amusement. Energized, they often bounce out to the backyard, reveling in the trampoline’s delights.

Introducing a new member to their lively household, a puppy named Bagel, adds to the excitement. Walter, the younger twin by minutes but paradoxically “only two” on leap years, eagerly championed the addition of the playful pup.

Reflecting on their journey, Mrs. Erickson recalled the anxiety-laden days in the NICU when the twins were born prematurely at 26 weeks. Their promise to celebrate every four years, should they overcome those uncertain beginnings, now manifests as a joyous tradition, complete with a grand party inviting NICU staff, friends, and family.

In lieu of gifts, the family encourages donations to the NICU, honoring the incredible care that helped their boys thrive. And on non-leap years, the brothers partake in the age-old tradition of choosing their own dinner and dessert spots, a cherished opportunity to celebrate their individuality amidst shared festivities.

As the Erickson family prepares for another Leap Day celebration, they exemplify resilience, gratitude, and the enduring power of family bonds.

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