75 going on 19: What's it like being a Leap Year baby?

Jonathan Roberts • Feb 29, 2020 at 8:00 AM

When 24-year-old Kaytlyne Copas was born in 1996, she was exactly 52 years behind her grandmother, Mary Copas. And, if that weren’t unlikely enough, both were born on Feb. 29, Leap Day.

“I think it’s really neat, and I enjoy it,” said the elder Copas. “I’m 19 and she’s six.”

Kaytlyne Copas said sharing a birthday with her grandmother was “great,” even if it only comes once every four years.

“I think the best part about it is sharing it with (Mary),” Kaytlyne Copas said.

And though the Copas’ are a rarity when it comes to Leap Year births, they aren’t the only Tri-Cities family with a unique Leap Year story, as Adam and Alec Crouch, a pair of identical twins who share a Leap Day birthday, will be celebrating their first “real birthday” this year.

“It’s very, very surprising,” said their mother, Tabitha Crouch. “Whenever they were born, I was induced on Feb. 29, and it was a magical experience knowing that they would only have a birthday every four years.”

Heather Sutherland-Butler is another local leapling, and though she doesn’t share the birthday with family, she still enjoy the uniqueness of a Leap Year birthday.

“You know how in group settings (they ask) ‘what’s one interesting fact about yourself?’ I always have an interesting fact — I don’t even have to think about mine,” Sutherland-Butler said.

12-year-old Junior Serrano, however, summed it up best when asked about being born on a Leap Year. 

“For me, it’s pretty weird because I’m pretty tall and it feels weird turning three,” said Serrano, who celebrates his third official birthday on Saturday. “I just feel special.” 

When do you celebrate your birthday on a non-Leap Year? 

In the United States, there’s no set legal date when Leap Year babies age in a non-Leap Year, though in most instances March 1 is the accepted date. 

The Copas’, for example, celebrate on March 1, while Crouch and Sutherland-Butler both celebrate on Feb. 28. For most Leap Year babies, the decision is one of personal preference as it won’t affect much in a legal sense — though it did delay Sutherland-Butler’s attempt to get a drivers license at 15. 

“When I turned 15, I could get my permit, but the DMV was closed on Monday, so when I went in on Friday they wouldn’t let me get it because in the system I was not 15 yet,” she said. “So I had to wait till the following Tuesday to get my permit.”