It’s Leap Day today. At this moment, my kids are 2, 3, 4, 13, and 15. It is really weird to think that when Leap Day comes again, one will be a full-fledged adult– out of the house, nearly done with her second year of college– one will be about to finish high school, and our “Littles” will be 6, 7 and 8– no longer so “Little.”

Because I never need an excuse to party and because the older girls are home-schooled, today we are celebrating Leap Day. None of them know that, of course. I doubt they even know the date! Since I’m too old to broad, aka “leap,” I’m theming the whole thing around frogs.

Their first hint that something is happening will be when their pancakes are green and shaped liked lily pads, complete with a frog on each plate. I got this idea when my Valentine pancakes looked more like lily pads than hearts! I have a ton of “leap year” activities planned, including an indoor hunt for the little plastic frogs that will adorn their breakfast plates, fingerprint frog art, a hunt for real tree frogs outside, a couple of games and books, a dinner of spinach enchiladas, and a chat about leap year and where each of us sees ourselves in four years, a cute cake, and a swim at the indoor pool. When the little ones are snug in their lily pads for the night, the big girls and I will watch the movie “Leap Year.”

Here’s a fun fact: Tradition states that Leap Day is the one day it’s okay (and even encouraged) for the ladies to propose to their gents. A sort of quadrennial Sadie Hawkins. As I said, any excuse for a party!

Why go to all this trouble? Well, in truth, I just love my kids so much: It’s another way to tell them. The nice thing about a party like this is that (1) they aren’t expecting it, so there is no way it can fail to meet expectations, (2) it’s not any one person’s event ,so no one can feel jealous, (3) it’s so fun to celebrate without gift-giving or excessive candy eating, and (4) it’s always the right time for good, clean fun.

But the underlying reason, the one I’m sharing exclusively with you, dear readers, is that two days ago marked the anniversary of the day the three little ones were placed with us. They were 10 months, 21 months, and 35 months old at the time. And while we don’t commemorate that day because we have an Adoption Day celebration for all 5 of them each November, my mother’s heart does always celebrate. And I am, indeed, grateful.