In honor of this year's "Leap Year," I wanted to share this pretty cool story. I'm sorry that it has nothing to do with teachers having sex with their students. It really is a story about a father and son, who celebrate their birthday on leap year, meaning this year, the guy on the left is technically, 15-years-old and the boy on the right is really 5-years-old. My former boss was married on Leap Year and I asked him how the hell he celebrated his anniversary and he told me on February 28 or March 1, even though technically, their anniversary is every four years. Ever since, I thought this concept was truly amazing, but extremely silly!
This is Fred Shekoufeh and yes, he looks much older than 15 years old, but then again, his son, Eric, doesn't really look like he's 5 either. The Shekoufeh's, who live in La Mesa, California, share a unique bond that goes even beyond genetics. They were both born on February 29. As if sharing a birthday with a family member wasn't weird enough, it had to happen on one of the weirdest days of every four years. I share my birthday with two other family members, but that's only February 16. Anyway, the calendrical quirk means that even though the senior Shekoufeh will celebrate 60 years on Earth today, it will only be his 15th official birthday. His son Eric is celebrating his 5th official birthday the same day. Both father and son were born on February 29, an event that has 1 in 2.1 million chance of ever happening.
Shekoufeh, a native of Iran, didn't realize his birthday was unusual until 1979 when he moved here to the U.S. and immigration officials commented on it. Shekoufeh said that he found it confusing at first. Since then, Shekoufeh says he celebrates when he can, but admits that it's hard to top 1996, when he turned "10" in a hospital delivery room when his son Eric was born. He said, "My ex-wife was in labor and said, 'This is your birthday present.'"
Eric said sharing such an unusual birthday with his dad is "pretty incredible," but admitted that being born on February 29 has had some challenges. Eric said, "I get a lot of jokes about whether I should celebrate on February 28 or March 1. It's a weird day. People don't recognize it on social media, but when they find out, they never forget." Eric said that his favorite February 29th birthday was in 2012, when he turned "four." He said, "Everyone and their mother made a joke about me turning four, and that four-year-olds shouldn't be able to drive cars. Well, evidently I could. I was glad to have an actual birthday on such an emphatic year: getting a license. No confusion at DMV. I hope I can say the same when I'm going out for my 21st birthday."
I thought this story was fascinating and pretty funny. He's right in saying that when you find out someone's birthday or anniversary are on the 29th, you never forget. As I said earlier, my former boss's anniversary is on this day and I still have not forgotten. The best part of the Shekoufeh story is that he gets to share it with his dad.