Happy ‘13th Birthday’ to Shanda Crawley Wilkins

Published 5:40 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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There’s no turning back time … except for those Leap Year babies, who are fortunate or unfortunate to be born in a Leap Year.

On Thursday morning, February 29, 2024, Shanda Crawley Wilkins of Troy, awoke, not to the aroma a pot of perking coffee or a club meeting with the girls, but as a giggly budding teenager who is learning to put on make-up and is noticing boys for the first time.

Wilkins, laughing, said, as a Leap Year baby, she only gets to celebrate her actual birthday every four years and that keeps her young.

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“Looking back and being different, I sometimes felt sorry for myself because didn’t have my special birthday,” Wilkins said. “But, then, there were times when I felt … special.”
One year, Wilkins’ daughter called in “10-year-old Shanda Wilkins” birthday to WTBF Radio and Ralph Black congratulated little Shanda and wished her a Happy Birthday with a coupon for a kids’ meal from McDonald’s.

“I had to call the radio station to let them know I wasn’t 10 years old,” Wilkins said, laughing.

However, birthdays come but once a year and Wilkins has learned to celebrate her birthday on the last  day of February and again on March 1 and enjoy them both.

“Back when I was 13, years old, I worried about grades and what I was going to wear,” Wilkins said. “Now I worry about paying bills and my knees that hurt. But, on March 1, I will celebrate my birthday with family and friends. And, it will be my second birthday of 2024 and I will enjoy both of them.

And, she won’t feel two years older.

Wilkins has a bit of advice for young people from one who celebrates two birthdays each year without doubling her age.

“Ages doesn’t matter. So, stay young no matter how many birthdays you have had,” she said.