Today is my tenth Leap Day.
On my ninth, in 2008, our daughter Molly was still alive and President Obama had not yet been elected.
It’s fascinating to reflect on my life in four year segments, to recognize the stages I was at, as well as the milestones my loved ones and I had reached.
This Leap Year coincides with another U.S. Presidential Election and the Summer Olympics which will be held in London. That is where I lived, for my college semester abroad, during my sixth Leap Year in 1996. I had hoped in 2016, my eleventh Leap Year, that the Summer Olympics would be held here in Chicago, but we lost the bid to Rio de Janerio.
My earliest Leap Year memory is from my third in 1984. I was in third grade and a classmate invited me over to play. Legend has it that on Leap Days women are allowed to ask men to marry them. My friend's mom told him about the tradition which somehow translated into him inviting me over to celebrate. In 1988 we were in seventh grade and gathered at a mutual friend's home that evening to hang out and play board games in honor of Leap Day. In 1992 we were in eleventh grade and worked together on a Chicago Metro History Fair project about our town's golf course, a sport we both played and enjoyed. I recall seeing each other at some point on Leap Day that year and reflecting on our tradition. We lost touch after high school, reconnecting four years ago on Facebook in 2008, which seemed fitting being that it was a Leap Year.
It's interesting to wonder where I will be and how my life will have changed on the next Leap Day, when my husband (who I married during my seventh Leap Year in 2000) and I will be forty and our living children will be twelve and six years old. Today our son is about the age I was when I first recall celebrating a Leap Day. I hope and pray that my family and friends will get to experience and celebrate many more memorable Leap Years in our lives.
About the author: Kathy Benson writes about learning to cope and find joy when life doesn’t go as we hope, dream and plan at bereavedandblessed.com and on Twitter as @BereavedBlessed.