Celebrating a 10th birthday on 10/10/10

All those 9s, he said, made an otherwise mundane day pretty interesting.

Then just as he finished recounting his school day, it occurred to him another such day was approaching – 10/10/10.

“And I’m going to be 10,” Jack said with glee.

He telephoned his father who was out of town working. “Dad, you’re not going to believe this!”

Back at home, they e-mailed the entire Nix/Booker clan. Jack seemed to float on Cherokee County air. He would turn 10 on 10/10/10.

Actually, chances are good that Jack’s in a lot of company.

“The fact is there are many thousands of people born on that same day and every one of them who is still alive will be having a 10th birthday on that day,” said Robert Batten, professor emeritus of Actuarial Science at Georgia State University.

Batten said that the year 2000 was a leap year, meaning it had 366 days.

“Assuming there was an equal number of births every day of the year, one out of every 366 children born that year will be 10 on 10/10/10. So while it’s interesting, it’s not all that unusual,” he said.

No matter how many 10s there are, a birthday won’t change history or add one cubit to his stature. But it is – at least in the context of family and small community -- reason enough to celebrate.

At first, Jack thought it would be a good idea to invite 10 friends and get 10 gifts. Then he thought better of it.

“When the party is over, it’s over,” said the aspiring zoo keeper. “I want [an iPod] Touch.”

With his father, Fred Nix, traveling so much of the time, it would allow for a little bit more face time while they talked.

Still when the question of throwing Jack a birthday party was put before the family, the answer was yes — times three. Yes to the cupcakes with his classmates at Liberty Elementary School. Yes to a sleepover and making Rice Krispies treats with his best friend, little brother Mason and grandma and grandpa Nix. And yes to the main gig with its 50 guests and big birthday cake on the big day.

Jack Nix came into the world with his umbilical cord wrapped three times around his neck. He could have died hurdling down the birth canal. When his head finally popped out, the doctor took his index finger and slipped it one, two, three, off.

Jack let out a hardy cry and that’s when the celebrating began.

It was 3:28 a.m., nearly 24 hours since Erica Nix started having contractions. Jack was 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long.

His birthdays have always gone off with a bang, at Chuck E. Cheese's, maybe at Medieval Times, always surrounded by family and friends.

But this one? This one was special.

“We’ve been thinking about this pretty much since then,” said his mother, Erica. “It’s been part of the family buzz for an entire year.”

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