Brothers, born on leap day, celebrate their “3rd” birthdays today
Twins in the Huseman family are nothing new. Gad and Zeb Huseman, sixth-graders at Tonganoxie Middle School, actually make up the third set of twins in their family — their grandmother, Janice Huseman, had a twin sister. Janice and her sister’s grandmother had a twin brother as well.
Huseman duos might not be rare, but the shared birthday for the youngest Husemans is. Today, Zeb and Gad are celebrating their “3rd” birthdays: they were born Feb. 29, 2000.
“It’s cool. It’s like we’re the smartest 2-year-olds,” Gad joked.
Their father, Brian Huseman, cracked a joke about the downside.
“You’ll get your driver’s licenses when you’re 64,” he said.
In reality, Gad and Zeb will be celebrating turning 12 come Wednesday. Their mother, Terri Huseman, said not having their birthday on the calendar each year allows for some leeway.
“When the birthday is not there, it’s a good excuse for celebrating whenever,” Terri said. “We’ll have to celebrate here or there.”
She added that generally the family would celebrate one brother’s birthday on Feb. 28 and the other on March 1.
Later today, Zeb and Gad’s youth minister plans to throw a party during the youth group’s meeting.
The family tends to have bigger celebrations in the years the calendar truly provides Gad and Zeb’s birthday. For their “first” birthday in 2004, two of their older siblings Levi and Kezia invited their friends to the party. As Kezia jokingly put it, their friends were invited because Zeb and Gad “didn’t have any friends” at the time. With this year being one of those special years again, Kezia was sure to be in town for the celebration. Now living in Peru, she made a rare trip home to celebrate the twins’ big day.
“I couldn’t miss it,” Kezia said.
Zeb and Gad, who on occasion have a knack for finishing each other’s thoughts, said they don’t mind sharing a birthday, though they stressed that they never dress alike.
If they coincidentally wear the same clothes the same day, one of them has to change clothes. Conversely, their grandmother said she and her sister wore the same clothes until their married lives.
“Sometimes we would buy the same dresses or make the same dresses so we were alike,” Janice said. “We took pride in the fact that we were twins.”
Terri has a system for separating the two brothers’ clothes. Zeb’s clothes are put on blue hangers because there is a “B” in his name; Gad’s clothes are placed on green hangers because his name starts with “G.”
Gad and Zeb will look to go all out for their birthday celebrations this year, possibly with riding go-carts or heading to a laser tag course.
When you generally have a “birthday” every four years, you have to go big. And there is an advantage to it, Zeb points out.
“You get more presents because it’s all blended together,” Zeb said.