Turning 12 on 12-12-12 is Fort Mill girl’s lifetime present

joverman@fortmilltimes.comDecember 12, 2012 

— Jessica Vanderwalker probably isn’t the only girl who will have a birthday today and she isn’t likely the only one who will turn 12 years old on 12-12-12, though that’s pretty unusual.

But we’re willing to bet that she’s one of few that were born on Dec. 12, 2000 at 12:21 p.m. – just shy of being born at exactly 12:12 on 12-12.

The number 12 has been a lucky one for Vanderwalker.

“It’s always been my favorite lucky number. When I use it things always turn out well,” Jessica Vanderwalker of Fort Mill said.

Vanderwalker is looking forward to the things that typical 12-year-olds anticipate on their birthdays. She’ll be getting her first cell phone and planning a birthday party with her friends on Saturday. On Wednesday night, she’ll get to join the youth group at church for the first time, finally joining the group that her brother, Spencer, 16, and sisters Samantha, 15 and Ashleigh, 18, have been part of since their 12th birthdays.

As an additional birthday treat, Ashleigh is scheduled to fly into town from college for the birthday party this weekend.

“That will make it even more special,” Jessica Vanderwalker said.

Despite being a straight-A student, Vanderwalker confesses that she’ll be a little distracted at school on her birthday. Most of the day at school will be spent watching the clock, she said, waiting for it to tick around to 12:21.

“I’ll probably look every two minutes,” she said.

An aunt realized the significance of her birth date and time on the day Vanderwalker was born. Since then, the family has been looking forward to the unusual birth date.

“Sweet 16 is usually a milestone birthday,” said Vaderwalker’s mom, Beth. “For us, this was a climax birthday.”

“I’ve been waiting,” Jessica Vanderwalker says with a grin.

Like 11-11-11 and 10-10-10 and the other alliterative dates before it, 12-12-12 has become a popular wedding date for couples around the world. It’s also special because this is the last triplicate date that many people will see in their lifetimes. The next repeating date is Jan. 1, 2101.

For the close-knit Vanderwalker family, the alliterative birth date is just another way they think Jessica is special.

She’s a good student, a dancer with Eddie Mabry Dance Studio, enjoys painting in her free time and plays percussion in the band at Springfield Middle School.

“She’s a pretty cool kid,” says her sister Samantha with a smile.

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