JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sabra Scism’s birth was met with fanfare in Johnson City 11 years ago — and now the North Side Elementary fifth grader is back in the news on a very special 11/11.
Scism turned 11 on Friday, 11/11/22, but the significance of 11’s in her life doesn’t end there. After all, she’s almost certainly not the only kid in Johnson City turning 11 Friday.
“She was born at 11:11 p.m., and she was an 11th grandchild,” Jessica Scism, Sabra’s mom, told News Channel 11 Friday.
“I think it’s really cool,” said Sabra, who always picks out the number 11 for jerseys in soccer if she can get it. “It’s hard to find someone who has the same birthday at the same time, same year that’s also on a holiday.”
Sabra was allowed to spend Veterans Day 2022 celebrating the United States’ servicemen and women with a little special time for herself thrown into the mix.
“Yesterday, we went to the veterans’ parade, and a couple weeks ago we met this veteran and he actually had two Purple Hearts,” Sabra told News Channel 11 when she dropped in about nine hours before the official moment of her birthday.
She and older brothers Damon, 14, and Siris, 12, were heading to a trampoline park later along with a handful of Sabra’s friends. She would be staying up for her birth minute late that night.
It was a typical birthday for the active girl who likes to ride bikes and play soccer — time with her tight-knit family. Despite a Google search revealing plenty of superstition around the 1111 number pattern, Sabra said it’s really not on her mind much.
“Some people at school say ‘that’s crazy’ and stuff, but other than that we don’t really talk to anybody else about it,” she said. She did say one boy questioned the truth of her claim, but all it took to shut that down was her photo from the hospital.
Jessica Scism had other things to focus on during a very short (30 minutes or so) natural childbirth, but Dallas, Sabra’s dad, remembers something seeming a little odd in the standard excitement of childbirth.
“I’m standing up there beside of (Jessica) and I keep watching this nurse and she just keeps looking at the clock, keeps looking at us, and I can’t figure out what’s going on,” he said. “I’m like, ‘why does she keep watching the clock, is something wrong?'”
After Sabra was born, “She’s like, ’11:11.'”
It took Dallas a few minutes before the string of 11’s sunk in. Jessica didn’t really think about it much at first, even when News Channel 11’s Sara Diamond came calling — at around 11 the next morning, appropriately enough.
“I don’t think it really set in until after we left the hospital,” Jessica said.
Those first days back at home brought another realization. Sabra was the 11th grandchild of Dallas’s parents.
It all adds up to something that actually does feel pretty amazing to Sabra when she stops to think about it.
“It feels like I added an extra 11 to my 11s,” she said.
Sharon Pickering was Sabra’s principal at North Side from kindergarten through last year and called the girl with the remarkable birthday “real sweet” and “very conscientious.”
“She was just really serious about what she did, very quiet, a very good friend to others,” said Pickering, who moved to a central office job with Johnson City schools this year. “She was really kind of always that perfect girl.”
Asked if she had a message for the nation’s veterans on a day that’s special to her and them, Sabra sounded like the kind of kid Pickering described.
“Have a great day, and hopefully somebody does something good for you.”
The next crop of remarkable kids making the news for a similar reason will turn 12 on Dec. 12, 2024 — having been born at 12:12 on 12/12/12.