Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday... My 28-Year-Old Son!

Mom and Me - Courier Post

Well over 50 years ago, when such things were relevant, a picture of my mother and I graced the front page of the local newspaper because I was the first baby born of that New Year (no need for specifics here). I came into the world a few minutes after midnight January 1, and apparently that was newsworthy. Unfortunately, my mother died when I was a very young child and I don't remember talking to her about our much heralded birth announcement. A picture and a tattered newspaper clipping are all that is left. But I am convinced that thirty years later, there was an angelic intervention when my son, Trevor and I graced the front page of the local newspaper because he was the first baby born in Burlington County on February 29th, 1984. That the two of us came into the world thirty years apart and made a mark on our very first day, still amazes me. Especially since the journey was anything but easy.

Trevor, Me (and Dad) Burlington County Times
I married at 19 and gave birth to our first child at age 30. The 11 years in between were often filled with heartache, stress, anxiety and tests…lots and lots of tests. But, thanks to answered prayers and good doctors, we were finally where we wanted to be…..and then the little one decided to come early.

My husband had just left for work, when it became instantly apparent that I was in the start of labor. No cell phones those days so I called my sister, who lived right around the corner. She was in the middle of preparing for my baby shower which was to be held about 8 hours later. It was going to be a big shower, loads of food, family and friends. She and my sister-in-law had invited all of the people whose baby showers I reluctantly went to over the last 11 years, bearing gifts and forced smiles…. all of the people who were truly celebrating, this long-sought event, with me and for me. She was decorating when I called to tell her that I needed a ride.

In seconds, she was coming through the front door. “What do you mean you’re in labor?” she questioned with the anxiousness that only a woman who had 12lbs of meatballs and sauce simmering in crock pots would ask. “My water broke and the doctor told me to go right over to the hospital”, I answered knowing full well that it was five weeks too early.

We quickly got in the car and were on our way, when she turned to me and said “You can’t have this baby today. He’ll only have a birthday every four years”! “What the hell was she talking about”, I thought to myself. I had no idea what the date was. I only knew that it wasn’t April 4th, the date I needed it to be.

Throughout that long, long day, the subject of this “date” kept coming up among nurses, my husband and my sister. Going in and out of awareness, I was picking up that the room was divided on whether having the birthday of February 29th was “unique” or a “hassle” being that the date is on the calendar only once every four years. At that time, I really didn't care. This kid was going to be born this day, even if I had to go in and get him! And he was, and all was good! Even being premature, he was almost seven pounds and deemed fit and ready to face the world.

 But it wasn't really until the next morning that the significance of his birth date was brought to my attention again when a photographer from the local newspaper came in and asked if he could take a picture of the two of us. I instantly saw my mother, with me propped in her arms, on the front page of the Courier Post 30 years earlier. I felt my first connection to her in years. "Thanks Mom", I whispered as I wiped away tears. "It's just a local paper", the somewhat embarrassed, photographer explained. "Well, it means the world to me", I answered as I propped my son in my arms.

Happy 7th Birthday Trevor!

Today, 28 years and 7 birthdays later, I am in my kitchen baking a cake and wondering if Trevor feels the same way that I do about this “special” birth date he owns. “I like it”, he answered when I called him. “I like not being like everyone else.” Well, there is truth to that statement in so many ways….good ways, unique ways. But there is still a small rub, though, when it’s not a leap year, the two of us have an ongoing debate on which day to celebrate. I say he was born the day after February 28th, “no matter was the date is.” He steadfastly maintains that he was born the last day of February, “no matter what the date is.” So, for three out of four years there is always some confusion as to what day we should light the candles on his cake.

But the fact that we even have that confusion is still viewed as a blessing to his father and I. He is here, and that is all that matters. And, ironically, his birth cured whatever fertility issues we were having, because 11 months later, his brother, Kyle was born - another February birthday. And since Kyle celebrates his birthday as if it were a national holiday, it’s probably best that he has one every year!  My husband and I celebrate them both every day. February 29th, 2012. Happy 7th Birthday, Trevor! I hope you have at least 20 more! 


  1. Are you kidding me? He loves it! LOL! He thinks it is really "cool" he told me this morning. Thanks for reading!

  2. Aunt JoJo I am very proud of the article that you wrote. I always refer to Trevor as "the first baby that I ever held". In my mind he is still 3 hours old becuase I am not old enough to be his "big" cousin. I love you all!

  3. Aimee, it is so nice to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts! Love to you and your beautiful family! And thanks for reading!!
    Oh, and you will always be the big cousin!!

  4. What a wonderful story! I always wondered what day would be right to celebrate, but you are right every day is a celebration. Happy Birthday Trevor!

  5. Thanks so much for reading! Everyday is a celebration. We need more people like us to live life that way!!

  6. What a great story. I love the connection between you and your mom. Life is funny sometimes.....:)

  7. Life can be strange at times that is for sure. Thanks so much for reading! BTW, what is your name? I don't want to call you "uncool" because I am sure that you are not! LOL

  8. My name is Stephanie. Guess I better figure out how to post my pic too. I am a bit more fluent with facebook. Don't 'tweet' too much.