Feb 15, 1990

By Sari Harrar, Special to The Inquirer

Among the timeworn love-tokens of Valentine’s Day — the last-minute chocolates and wilting supermarket roses — this was a funny valentine, indeed.

She arrived at 6:33 a.m. yesterday, as the sun came up behind a gray sky. She was Kristin Leigh Windsor, second daughter of Ann and Joe Windsor. She was a surprise, a homemade valentine. And a statistically extraordinary one.

Both Kristin and her 2-year-old sister, Alicia Ann Windsor, were born on Valentine’s Day.

“We were planning to have our children two years apart, but we never planned for this,” Ann Windsor, of McGuire Air Force Base, said yesterday from her bed in the maternity ward at Willingboro’s Rancocas Hospital. “Kristin was nine days late, and my friends were saying, ‘Oh, you’ll have her on Valentine’s Day, too.’"

The coincidence is clearly unusual.

Rancocas Hospital spokesman Anthony Cirillo said it was rare for siblings born in different years to share the same birthday. According to a University of Pennsylvania statistician, the random odds of having two separate births in a family on the same date is one in 100,000.

The statistician, who did not want his name used, cautioned that such lofty numbers don’t reflect intimate issues like family planning, or the allure of a fine spring evening.

“If you count back nine months, well, obviously spring is in the air,” he said. “These things have a bearing on the odds. If you assume complete randomness, the odds here are one in 100,000. But you couldn’t figure the real odds without doing a study.”

Such a study might reveal that Ann, 25, and Joe, 27, hail from the West. Ann grew up with six sisters and brothers in Ogden, Utah; Joe grew up in a big family in Wyoming. They met at McGuire when Ann came East to visit a sister. The sister introduced Ann to Joe, who was stationed at the Burlington County base as an Air Force bomb-disposal specialist. A long-distance, high phone bill romance ensued. They married in November 1986.

Their first Valentine’s daughter, Alicia Ann, was born in 1988, with Joe assisting Ann in the delivery room. “He’s a good coach,” Ann said.

Ann’s labor pains with Kristin began Tuesday night in the family car, en route to meet Ann’s mother at the airport.

“My mother looked at me and said, ‘You aren’t looking so good,’” Ann said. “I told her why. … We got home and I went to bed for an hour, but Kristin wouldn’t let me sleep. She was ready to be born. We came to the hospital about 4 a.m.”

Seven-pound Kristin, just seven hours old yesterday afternoon, slept and yawned in her mother’s arms. “She has my face and my husband’s nose,” noted Ann, a redhead with creamy, freckled skin. “And she has my husband’s temperament. She’s quiet until she has something to say.”

The question of birthday party scheduling has occupied the Windsors since Kristin’s birth, Ann said. “We were wondering whether to have both at the same time, or have them on different days,” she said. “I think we’ll have them on the same day. If Kristin had been a boy, that might not have been so easy.”

A pair of Valentine’s kids, admittedly, does not qualify the Windsors for the record books. The honor for coincidental birth dates belongs to the Cummins family of Clintwood, Va., whose five children celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 20. The Cummins kids were born between 1952 and 1966. The 1990 Guinness Book of World Records puts the random odds for such an occurrence at one in 17,797,577,730 — almost four times the world population.