Today is Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, or 12-12-12.
Such an alignment of numbers only happens one day in a century. For most, it’s just an interesting occurrence.
But for Ryan Rufenacht and Elias Rash, 12-12-12 is something special.
Ryan’s family lives between Pettisville and Archbold. Elias’ family lives on the eastern edge of Archbold.
Both were born on Dec. 12, 2000, meaning they are both 12 years old today, 12-12- 12.
Ryan was in a hurry to arrive on the special date. His mother Mary said he was born about 12 weeks premature, then had to spend more than nine weeks in the hospital.
Elias’ mother Pam said her son wasn’t technically “due” until Dec. 27, so he, too, was in a rush to claim 12-12 as his special day.
His parents said there was a snowstorm on Dec. 12, 2000, one of the worst of that year.
“I’ll never forget that night,” said Elias’ father, Craig.
“We were on our way, and we were stopped in Swanton by a red light. I was so scared to death that I was going to deliver this child in the van. I do not know how to do this!
“So I’m praying out loud, ‘Lord, please, help us, so we don’t get stopped by any more red lights!’
“The very next light we come to, right before we came to it, the power went out in Swanton.
“I’m like, ‘Well, okay, the light’s not exactly red, but I was kind of hoping for green.’
“God has a sense of humor,” he said.
Ryan and Elias both have fathers named Craig.
Both are sixth graders at Pettisville.
Ryan said his friends at Pettisville say being 12 on 12-12-12 is kind of cool, “but sometimes they don’t sound that interested.”
Ryan said he told his teacher, Jadea Wixom.
“She actually sounded the most enthusiastic. She said it sounded pretty cool,” said Ryan.
Elias said he talked to Ryan about their joint birthday.
“I told him we should take $12 and go to someplace like a horse stadium. There would be 12 horses, and we would bet on number 12.
“But then he would come in in 12th place.”
“He might have 12 to 1 odds,” Craig Rash said.
Craig Rufenacht said his family didn’t recognize the significance of his son’s birthday until 12-12-11.
Speaking to his wife, he said, “You were the one, Mary, who said, ‘You know what, next year, he’s going to be 12 on 12-12-12, and that sounds kind of cool.’”
Mary said, “We should have thought about it, because he was born in 2000.”
Elias said he didn’t exactly remember when he thought about the “12” phenomenon.
He did recall thinking about the fact that his age is the same as the last two digits of the year.
“Say, in 2009, I turned nine years old. Then just sometime, I remember realizing that I was going to be all 12s.”
“Mom and I figured it out that day (the day Elias was born),” Craig Rash said.
Neither had definite plans for today.
Ryan’s family said the birthday boy gets to choose the restaurant where the family will eat.
Elias will have to put off a special celebration, because he has practice for a church Christmas program.
Pam said they might take snacks for Elias’ classmates.
“We could bring in 12 snacks per kid,” Elias said.
Even though they have December birthdays, neither reports suffering through the “all-purpose present syndrome,” wherein a child with a December birthday receives one present that supposedly covers both the birthday and Christmas.
For the Rashes, that’s because father Craig’s birthday is on Dec. 2, and he was affected by the syndrome.
“They’ve got to have their own presents,” said Craig Rash.
Combined, the boys have five siblings, ranging in age from 17 to 9.
Elias has a sister, McKenna, 17, and brothers Levi, 15, and Dylan 9.
Ryan has two brothers, Evan, 15, and John, 13.
Which leads Craig Rufenacht to think about another different set of numbers.
“Next year, we’ll have three teenagers.”