36 thoughts on “Athena, 12/18/12

  1. Hello, Athena, thanks for letting John post your photo. It’s been interesting watching you grow up on his blog, sort of a time-lapse thing. You look very serious in this photo, which I appreciate. I hope that if anyone ever tells you “Hey, smile! You’re too pretty to look so serious!” that you punch him in the throat. I waited until I was in my late twenties, and I deeply regret that lost decade or so.

  2. As the father of a beautiful teenaged girl (now in college), I understand your pride, but I don’t envy you the coming anxiety. I’ve spent a lot of the last few years keeping worry at bay with, “she’s a smart kid, got a good head on her shoulders, we raised her right, she won’t let some shallow asshole take advantage (emotional or otherwise) or get herself in a bad situation she can’t get out of, so I probably won’t have to kill anyone and bury him in the backyard.” But, you know, you still worry.

    So far, so good. As far as I know.

  3. Mr. Rhoades? Not to worry you more, but that whole “I will kill anyone who hurts her and bury them in the backyard” thing is exactly why I didn’t tell my parents anything about what was going on in my life in my teen years. I needed to get away from my boyfriend, but needed equally to do it quietly and without having my parents descend like the Avatars of Doom.

    Nice pic of Athena. She and my son, who is almost exactly the same age, are keeping pace nicely on the whole looking older thing. He just hit my height this month.

  4. Yes, she looks like Chrissie. And yes, a bit like you too. But mostly, and this is the great bit, she looks like herself.

  5. Tapetum: it’s my JOB to be the Avatar of Doom!

    Sigh. Seriously, I know what you mean. But it’s hard to be civilized sometimes when it’s your little girl, ya know?

  6. A photograph of a charming young lady. Hi, Athena! Thanks for letting your dad take pictures of you for the Internet. You’re a good sport.

  7. @J.D. Rhoades: As a former teenage girl, I would say that the cooler you are, the more you will hear. You won’t ever know everything, but drama will get you cut right out. Teenagers have quite enough internal drama, they are totally not capable of handling you freaking out, too. Steady on, Number One.

  8. Not to dogpile on Mr. Rhoades, but that same “I’ll kill anyone who hurts her” attitude was my mother’s reason for not telling my father–or the authorities–when I was molested by a neighbor at age 12. Mind you, if not for that she’d have found some other reason. But still.

  9. 17 year old daughter: “Dad we have to talk – you are ruining my social life?”

    Salty old senior Marine officer: “Oh, how?”

    Daughter: “Well when I tell a new boyfriend that you are a salty old senior Marine officer he starts to back away”

    SOSMO:: Go on.”

    Daughter “And then I tell him you are the XO of the base and he doesn’t talk to me any more.”

    SOSMO: ” Well, I see the situation but I fail to see that there is a problem.”

    Daughter: “Glares”

    I have to think that you and Krissy have taught Athena to be self-reliant, confident, and strong. She will be fine.

  10. sadly, i’m approaching this same day. she’s not a girl anymore. must concentrate on keeping my 8 and 10 yr old 10 & 8. god bless/help you, scalzi.

  11. Lila: I’d submit the proposition that the son of a bitch needed killing and that your dad (or your mom) was the appropriate person to accomplish it. But that’s my redneck roots talking.

  12. I used to play a little headgame with my daughter’s dates. Especially the first date. They were required to come in and meet the parents. I seemed to always be cleaning a handgun when they showed up. Message delivered.

  13. J.D., aka Dusty, it’s just as bad when you’re a grandparent on the far side of the continent from the tender sprouts. Ever try to thumb-hike on an SR-71? Their father and I discussed doing some sfx prosthetics work to create heads on pikes planted at each side of the driveway prior to a certain date. Alas, the neighbors complained about ‘diminishing the property values.’

    Mr. Prezident, your daughter is lovely, and I see both of you in her. I’d call all three of you fortunate.

  14. Mmmmm … Mom with a look and Dad with a shotgun…. and VERY SOON TOO… But She is going to be a knockout real soon … may she walk in the sunlight with her head held high and the path of her future visible in the distance.

  15. I have two daughters and a son myself, all teenagers, so I think I understand parental fears pretty well, but I wish the cleaning-the-gun-in-front-of-the-boyfriend trope would just go away. It’s based on all kinds of pretty awful assumptions about adolescent sexuality and about daughters as property of their fathers. (Not to mention the heteronormativity, but usually there’s not time to even go there.) If my son needed to be scared by his girlfriend’s father cleaning a shotgun (or even jokes about same), he wouldn’t be fit to go out with her in the first place.

    I realize that to a lot of people these are nice old-fashioned cozy kinds of jokes to make, but that just shows how enmeshed they’ve become in our society. The implications are still nasty.

  16. I’ve only recently (about a week ago) discovered the Whatever, and I’m currently working my way through the back catalogue so to speak – up to September 2004 at present, but it’s a bit confusing. *My* version of Athena is still only 5 and just about to start school…

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