Makin’ up for lost time one day at a time

     Sara Yager is 5, or 20, depending on how you look at it. She was born Feb. 29, 1992, and her birthday comes once every four years.

     Yager, a sophomore nursing student at Castleton, is a leap day baby or a “leapling.” According to, the odds of a child being born on Feb. 29 is one in 1,461 births. Yager, originally from Brattleboro is proud of being a part of those odds, but that wasn’t always the case.

     “When I was younger, I hated it, but now that I’m older and know more people with the same birthday, I think it’s awesome,” she said.

     She celebrates her big day on Feb. 28 of what she calls “off years,” but her parents have always made the day feel special growing up, even if the day didn’t exist.

     “My parents would write in a 29 on the blank box after the 28 and we’d skip March 1 essentially,” said Yager.

     In a leap year, one additional day is added to the month of February in order to keep the calendar year in sync with the seasonal year. Yager’s brother found this idea challenging as a child.

     “When I was little, my brother would actually get confused as to why the calendar people forgot to put my birthday on during the off years,” she said.

     Yager herself was confused as to the phenomenon behind her birthday for many years, but in her wise five years, she has become more understanding and accepting of her big day.

“When I was younger and first learned, I hated the fact that I only had my birthday every four years. I didn’t like explaining it to people because I didn’t understand it myself. It just seemed like a hassle so I didn’t talk about it much, but as I got older and started to know more people who shared it with me, I embraced it and learned to love it,” she said.

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