Leap Year is Thursday: Meet a local leap year baby!

Leap years happen every four years and an extra day is added to February

ROANOKE, Va. – A local Roanoke resident shares something in common with millions of people on her birthday tomorrow, Feb. 29. She is a leap year baby, meaning she only has a birthday every four years.

Laura Woolwine is turning 56 years old on Thursday; however, she will only be 14 in Leap Years.

[RELATED: Why do leap years happen every four years?]

“It’s kind of a neat birthday when you look into it,” said Woolwine.

We get a leap year every four years. While our calendars show that we have 365 days, it takes a little more time for the Earth to orbit the sun. In fact, it takes about six more hours, according to NASA. To count that extra time on our calendars, we add an extra day almost every four years.

Woolwine said while she loves being a leap year baby, she faced some challenges. One example is when she got her driver’s license at 16 years old. She said she lost it, and when she went to get another one, they wouldn’t put the 29th as her birthday. Instead, they put the 28th.

“I got a young clerk when I went, and she had no idea that leap year was the 29th. She goes, ‘Well, there’s no 29. I don’t understand. How can you be born on the 29th when it’s February 28th?’” said Woolwine.

Woolwine said she had to wait another four years to have the DMV correct her birthday on her driver’s license. Meaning, she was 20 years old when this happened.

She said the same thing happened when she tried to open her first bank account. Woolwine also said she was teased in school for her birthday.

“As I was growing up through school, I said I’m a leap year baby and people are like, ‘What’s that? What’s that?’ And I would explain it to them, and they would say, ‘No, I don’t believe it.’ There’s only 28 days, and of course, the driver’s license would come in handy when I got older, but when I was younger, no one believed it,” said Woolwine.

However, she does have a friend from high school who shares that unusual day with her.

“It’s kind of cool. Back when we were in high school and stuff, we’d meet up and have a drink or something like that once we got out of high school, but now we kind of both live in separate areas, but we still talk on Facebook and everything, which is nice,” said Woolwine.

Although Woolwine has a birthday every four years, she said she still celebrates every year on the 28th. She said she typically goes out to dinner with friends or spends time with family. However, this year, Woolwine said she is going on a surprise trip planned by her family.

“Back in my younger day, I’d get kind of upset when people would tease me or something like that, but now it’s just kind of another day for me,” said Woolwine.

Happy Birthday, Laura!

About the Author

Keshia Lynn is a Multimedia Journalist for WSLS. She was born and raised in Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society from American University and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

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