Sanjay Sekar is an average HHS sophomore with the exception of one minor detail; he will be celebrating his fourth birthday this February.
Sekar isn’t actually a genius toddler, but he is a leapling, a person born on February 29th, Leap Day. Due to this, he only has a “birthday” once every four years.
In the U.S. there are only around 200,000 leaplings. Despite these odds, Sekar’s school nurse at his kindergarten in Millis is also a leapling.
Unlike many leaplings, Sekar celebrates his birthday every year on March 1st instead of having one big celebration every four years.
Sekar said, “It’s the day after February 28th so that’s the day I chose. It’s what my parents chose too…It just makes sense.”
He generally just spends some time with friends and family on March 1st every year and will do the same thing in addition to a nice dinner on February 29h.Ideally, Sekar would like to have a bigger birthday celebration on the 29th, but it is usually a school day.
Although having school on his birthday may seem like a bad thing, Sekar generally enjoys it.
“Every single year I’ve had my birthday on leap year, something weird happens,” said Sekar. “Four years ago I ended the day with five cookies and ten dollars. It was funny, the minute I walked in, Kevin Belyea gave me three cookies so I guess school is pretty great when it comes to birthdays.”
Although fun things tend to happen at school on his birthday, Sekar would like to spend his time elsewhere on that day.
“I’d definitely want to go out with my family to Boston or something nice like that. And with my friends, it would definitely be going out to a movie and walking around Patriots Place and just spending a day with them,” said Sekar. He’d also enjoy skiing or snowboarding with his friends.
Unfortunately, school isn’t the only drawback Sekar faces on his birthday. He dislikes when people can’t grasp the idea of what a leap day is and why it’s unusual to be born on that day. Plus, certain online services that require a person to enter their birthday don’t have an option to select February 29th as a valid date of birth.
U.S. law states that a leapling is officially a year older after midnight on February 28th, no matter whether February 29th or March 1st is the next day.
“I get to be one of the youngest kids to legally drive which I think is pretty cool,” said Sekar.
Despite these minor difficulties, Sekar loves being a leapling and having “something unique” about him. Plus, he enjoys coming up with funny retorts to comments from people telling him to “act his age.” He has also mentioned to several people on his swim team that he could swim in the eight and under division and hold all of the world records.
“It’s weird turning four,” said Sekar.”A lot more people at school are recognizing me now. As soon as 2016 started, people have been saying, ‘Hey, you’re turning four this year.’…and I guess it’s going to be a repeat of 2012, which is going to be fun.”