Greenlawn boy turns 12 on 12/12/12

Patrick Hunter of Greenlawn, who turns 12 years Patrick Hunter of Greenlawn, who turns 12 years old on 12/12/2012, sits in his living room reading The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Dec. 2, 2012) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

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Patrick Hunter of Greenlawn turns 12 years old on 12/12/12 -- which for most people is simply a week from Wednesday.

With all those 12s in there, Patrick's mind is actually on 2 -- the number of days he will have to wait for one of his birthday presents, when his parents plan to take him to the opening of the movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" that Friday.

He liked the book the movie is based on, and is midway through the trilogy of hobbit books that followed it, "The Lord of the Rings."

"What I kind of like about it is it's magical, and I like those books," he said. "It's similar to Harry Potter, and I like the Harry Potter series."

Patrick said his parents told him a few years ago about the numerical significance of his 12th birthday, but they said they think he first told them. "My parents told me about it," Patrick said. "Of course, they claim I figured it out by myself."

His father, Alex Hunter, said he did not think about the 12/12/12 convergence at the time of Patrick's birth at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, where his wife, Jeanne, is a nurse. The couple have two other children, Alex Jr., 16, and Michaela, 14 -- neither with a birthday of any numerical significance.

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"We thought it was great he was born in the year 2000: 2 with three zeros after it. Some people consider it the first year of the millennium," said Alex Hunter, a self-employed carpenter.

He said he was unsure when the notion that Patrick's twelfth birthday was on 12/12/12 first dawned on the family. "I'm not really sure, but probably sometime after he began to talk, or began school. He might have figured it out for himself," he said. Patrick estimates he's probably known since he was 7 or 8 years old.

Patrick, a sixth-grader at the Oldfield Middle School, said he's not interested in sports, although his father noted he played T-ball and was in a soccer league until he was 10. He does enjoy reading and video games, particularly Xbox games played with his brother.

The topic has come up among his friends, Patrick said, but they don't think it's too big a deal. "I guess they think it's pretty cool," he said.

The parents had told the children over the years that as each one turned 10, there would be no more big birthday parties, but as Patrick's birthday neared, they decided to make an exception.

"We told Patrick we'll do something special," his father said.

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