Three Of A Kind: Payson ‘Leaplings’ Share Leap Day Birthday Celebration
Feb 29, 2020, 7:08 PM | Updated: 8:38 pm
PAYSON, Utah – Every 365 days, the Earth completes one circuit around the sun. That’s what people used to think, anyway.
As mankind later discovered, the actual duration of a single revolution is 365 days, six hours, nine minutes, and 9.76 seconds — meaning every four years or so, an extra day gets added to the month of February. Without that tiny addition, the calendar would end up completely out of sync.
For the Estes family, Feb. 29 is more than just an extra day. For them, it’s a cause to celebrate.
“I’m turning 3 at 9 p.m.,” said Remington Estes, the guest of honor at a family gathering. According to government records, he’s technically 12, but 2020 marks only the third time he’s witnessed a Leap Day.
“We got married, then we got pregnant, and then we checked the calendar,” said his mother, Louise Estes. “He was due on March 1, and we thought, ‘That would be awesome if he just came one day early.'”
That’s exactly what happened, but she wasn’t talking about Remington. She was referring to his older brother, Xavier, who’s turning 4 — or 16, depending on who’s counting.
The circumstances of Remington’s birth were a bit more coordinated.
“He was due March 4,” Louise said. “I have to be induced. Even with my water breaking, I never went into labor, so we chose to have that birthday, as long as the baby’s fine and I’m fine, and it’s totally within that window for everybody to be good.”
But Remington wasn’t enough. Louise’s husband decided to make a suggestion.
“He said, ‘If we want to do this leap day thing again, we got to talk about it right now,'” she said. “I kind of felt like now if we try to do it on purpose, it won’t work.”
But she was wrong — along came their daughter Jade, who’s technically turning 8. That means the Estes family has three children who were all born on Feb. 29, which she said ties them for the record.
“The first ones were a family in Norway in the ’60s,” she said. “We didn’t set the record, but I think tying it is still pretty good.”
The family has five children altogether, and her three “leaplings,” as she calls them, typically celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28. But every leap year, they have a big family party, complete with three piñatas and as much candy as the kids can grab.
“We consider it a milestone birthday,” Louise said. “Even the other kids, the “non-leaplings,” they get an extra big party every four years as well.”
Of course, each one of the three is different. Remington can be quite talkative and is more than happy to discuss the powers of various comic book villains while waiting for the cake. Jade is a little more shy, except when it comes time to take a swing at her piñata. And as for Xavier, he might be the only 16-year-old in the country who’s really not that interested in learning to drive.
“I’m appreciative of being able to go places once I can drive, but it’s not top priority,” he said.
“I was chomping at the bit when I was that age, but he’s a little more relaxed about it,” Louise said. “But I guess we’ll get there.”
They may all be a little different, but they share one rare thing in common: a mom who wants to celebrate their similarities, as well as what makes them unique.
“This is a very unique thing about them, but we’ve always worked to let them know that they’re all special,” Louise said.
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