Every 4 years, my granddaughter, Shai gets a real birthday. For most of us that fact seems rather odd to think about, but for Shai, it is simply the way it is.  Shai is a Leap Day Baby, and she is 4 years old today.  Most four year olds are thinking about things like getting to start Kindergarten next year, and getting to spend the night with grandma because they are getting to be big, but that isn’t Shai either. Shai is thinking about getting her driver’s license. You see, Shai is 4 @ 16. It is a phenomena that goes along with being a Leap Day Baby, and is as much a part of who Shai is as her own name. She has not always liked that birthday, because being the only girl among my 4 grandchildren, the boys…especially the younger ones liked to remind her that they are older than she is. It was a losing battle for her, because on Josh’s 1st birthday…3 1/2 years after Shai was born, he became the last of the boys to be able to say that they were older than Shai, putting her as the youngest and the second born of my 4 grandchildren.

I always thought Leap Day would be an awesome birthday to have, and so, I was thrilled when my only granddaughter arrived on that very cool day!! We have had a great time coming up with interesting things to say about her birthday. I really like Leap Happens, which is one I put on the shirt I have made for her birthday a couple of times. The @ symbol has been a fun one too. I’m sure the sayings are as varied as the people who come up with them. It is just another fun way to celebrate a birthday that only really comes once every 4 years. I find it very hard to believe that Shai is so grown up. I look at some of the pictures of her through the years and realize what a beautiful girl she is.

In addition to her unusual birthday, Shai has an unusual name. But like the day of her birth, her name fits her so very well. I know many people would think that I mean that she is shy…which is the pronunciation of her name, but I am talking about the Hebrew meaning of her name. Shai in Hebrew means Gift, and that is exactly what Shai is…a gift, to her family, as well as all who know her. She is bubbly, with a touch of humor. She is very capable of doing any job she sets her mind to, from being a caregiver at the ripe old age of 2 1/2 (10) years old, when she took care of her ill great grandparents by herself during the day for the entire month of August when she was the only one we had that could help, to being a capable part time CSR at our office, The Stengel Agency, to having a second job at On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina. She is an asset anywhere she works, and she will be a success at whatever she chooses to do with her life.

Three out of four years, Shai shares her birthday with her Grandparents’ anniversary, but every 4 years, she gets her own day…a real birthday!! This year is her year to have a real birthday. Happy 4th @ 16th birthday my precious granddaughter!! We love you very much!!

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