Written by Malinda Just Wednesday, 27 February 2008 12:31
Tyler Palic will celebrate his second "real" birthday on Friday. He was born in 2000.
With two of his brothers’ birthdays falling on Feb. 27 and 28, it would seem that “leapling” Tyler Palic’s Feb. 29 birthday was something of Providence.
Palic, a Marion resident and avid wrestler, will celebrate his second “real” birthday on Friday. He doesn’t like having his birthday once every four years.
Kim and Todd Klein chose to elope on Feb. 29, 1992. They felt a Leap Day wedding was fitting.
“It takes so long for a real birthday,” he said.
Even though Palic will be 8, he gets teased by his brothers that he is younger than his youngest brother Todd, 5, and that he’s not old enough to participate in certain activities.
“(His brothers) kind of give him a hard time about it,” said Palic’s mom, Jackie.
But sometimes Palic uses his age to tease people when asked how old he is.
“Every once in a while he does tell somebody when they ask him, ‘How old are you,’ and he’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m 13⁄4,” Jackie said. “They’ll say, ‘Huh? What do you mean?’”
Despite having his real birthday every four years, Palic gets to celebrate every year on March 1. But this year, he gets to celebrate his long-awaited birthday in a big way.
“I’m having a big party at a (church) fish fry,” he said.
He will also have some friends over to spend the night.
While Palic didn’t choose to have a Leap Day birthday, two local couples, one married nearly 16 years, the other anticipating a wedding this week, chose the 29th as their wedding date.
Todd and Kim Klein of Hillsboro, married in 1992, will celebrate their fourth anniversary Friday.
“At one time we had thought about getting married on Valentine’s Day, but for whatever reason that just didn’t work out,” Todd said. “So I don’t know, I guess we just thought, Leap Year Day, that would be kind of cool.”
Because the couple eloped, they felt like a Leap Year Day wedding was fitting.
“We thought it would be kind of different—unique—since we were eloping,” Kim said.
For their first “real” anniversary in 1996, Kim’s mother wanted to hold a wedding for her first-born.
“My mom had always wanted us to have a wedding,” Kim said.
So in addition to a wedding gown and cake, the Kleins added another unique twist.
“We announced we were pregnant at our wedding,” Kim said. “Everybody was happy about it.”
Todd added, “That isn’t something you often hear.”
The couple also went on a cruise to celebrate their marriage.
Every four years the Kleins talk about celebrating in a “bigger” way than normal, but they said they don’t follow through.
“After (the cruise) I don’t know that we’ve really done anything,” Kim said.
“We had kids,” Todd explained.
Despite the common reaction that Todd “has it lucky,” the couple still celebrates their anniversary on Feb. 28 during every “normal” year.
“People say I’m lucky because I only have to remember it once every four years,” Todd said. “But it isn’t true.”
Kim joked that instead of one day per year, they should have two celebrations.
“The best part, I just think it helps to make your anniversary more focused,” Todd said. “You have an anniversary every year, but there’s always something to make it kind of special every fourth year.”
Caleb Dirks and Kelli Just, a Hillsboro couple, will be married Friday. Dirks said they, like the Kleins, plan to celebrate an anniversary every year, but the fourth year will always be special.
“Every time the fourth year comes around is going to be the big one,” Dirks said. “That’s going to be the exciting thing about it. I think that’s what kind of makes it fun in a way.”
For Dirks and Just, planning a Leap Day wedding was an obvious choice.
“My birthday is on March 1, and I was one year from being born on Leap Year,” Dirks said. “All through grade school I was like, ‘Oh, that would be awesome if I was only 3 years old or something like that. Then Kelli and I got engaged and we were looking at when the wedding could possibly be.”
After deciding on sometime in February, Dirks noticed it was a Leap Year. He was then ecstatic when he discovered Leap Day was on a Friday.
“At that point we were like, ‘Oh, it’s meant to be,’” Dirks said. “We were both so pumped about the idea.”