Leaplings celebrate their real big day

  • Leap Year Babies

  • Leap year babies celebrating from left: Corrina Rego, Lucas Amaral and Hil DeFrias (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Leap year babies celebrating from left: Corrina Rego, Lucas Amaral and Hil DeFrias (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Happy family: Carlos and Patricia Amaral with their leap year baby Lucas in 2012 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Happy family: Carlos and Patricia Amaral with their leap year baby Lucas in 2012 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

It’s not easy being born on February 29.

Lucas Amaral, a leap-year baby, is eight years old today, but it is only the second time he has celebrated on the right day.

The Warwick Academy pupil said: “I’m a two-year-old trapped in an eight-year-old’s body.”

Carlos Amaral, Lucas’s father, said his birth date was a surprise for him and wife Patricia as he arrived about a week ahead of schedule.

Mr Amaral said: “I never thought about it at all, until after he was born, and they said oh, there is a Royal Gazette photographer wanting to take Lucas’s picture. It’s a leap year. ” Mr Amaral said.

Corrina Rego, 12 today in leap years, said she has had to adapt.

Ms Rego, whose actual age is 48. said: “My friends often call me at midnight on February 28, to wish me a happy birthday.”

Ms Rego, an art teacher at Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation in Devonshire, said it was not an accident she was born on the extra day.

She explained: “My mother took an old wives’ concoction to make sure I was born that day. I think it involved mineral oil. My father was desperate for me to be born that day. My mother just wanted me to be born.”

Whatever Ms Rego’s mother drank, it must have worked, because Ms Rego made her arrival just three hours later.

Hil DeFrias a lawyer, added: “My son became a teenager before I did,”

The 52-year-old marked his thirteenth leap year birthday today.

Because the day only comes around every four years, births on February 29 are rare with odds of 1 in 1,461.

The odds of being born with 11 fingers and toes are higher.

Mr DeFrias said he didn’t meet anyone else born on February 29 until he went away to school in the United Kingdom and rented a room.

He added: “There was another guy who rented a room down the hall. The first few days we were getting to know one another.

“I told him I was born on February 29 and he said ‘no way!’”

His new friend was astonished and ran to get his driver’s licence to prove they were born on the same day four years apart.

Mr DeFrias asked: “What are the chances of that?”

The trio said they were pleased their birthday fell on a Saturday this year.

Ms Rego said: “Statistically, that hasn’t happened for me in a while.” She added she planned to celebrate with a family dinner at a restaurant.

Ms Rego admitted: “I don’t know what to do with myself when it is my actual birthday. It is a weird feeling because normally the calendar just jumps your day.

“It’s kind of fun, because when your actual birthday comes every four years, you get a big day, and everyone remembers.”

Mr DeFrias said: “At my age, I just go to dinner with my wife and that’s cool.”

Lucas added he was delighted he would have a Sponge Bob Square Pants-themed bouncy castle at his party and that he would not change his birthday even if he could.

He said: “I think it’s lucky.”

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Published Feb 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 29, 2020 at 8:05 am)

Leaplings celebrate their real big day

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