This year being a Leap year, I was looking at things that have happened or are unique about this special day, which comes as often as the World Cup or the Olympics (summer & winter) when I remember a little fact that I read a long, long time ago. Back in 1990 or so I think, from a copy of the Guinness Book Of World Records. Leap Day gives the rest of us an extra 24 hours every fourth year to get around to those tasks we just never seem to have time for, but for one Norwegian family Leap Year brings something extra special.
The Henriksen family from Andenes on the island of Andøy can claim a distinction shared by no other family in the world. Siblings Heidi, Olav and Leif-Martin all share a Leap Day birthday. Heidi was born on February 29th, 1960. Olav came four years to the day later and Leif-Martin made his entry into the world four years after that. Their mother, Karin, is believed to be the only woman to ever give birth on three Leap Days. The Henriksens said that their unusual birthdays have netted them a long line of international media appearances since their mother was added to the 1980 Guinness World Records for her impeccable timing in delivering babies.
Somewhat incredibly, Leap Day also has another – and sadder – meaning for the family as well. The siblings had a nephew who passed away from cancer on February 29th, 2008. Since then, they say that the day has been a mix of joy and sadness. They haven’t celebrated in a big way since.