My daughter’s nine today. And packin’ tude. So watch out.

46 Comments on “Nine”

  1. As previously stated (but now with proper timing,) tell her I said happy birthday.

  2. If you think she’s packing ‘tude now, wait until she’s on the cusp of 13 like my eldest. Talk about large and in charge.

  3. It’s also my mother’s birthday today. She’s 66 years old. Now she’s exactly twice as old as I am, which is funny to think about.

    Happy birthday, Athena! I hope you have a nice day!

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    Happy birthday, Athena! Watching you grow up through your father’s eyes has been a true delight. Have a terrific birthday and a great Christmas!

  5. Happy birthday to Athena, and may I recommend you invest in Kleenex for the next year.

    Not that I know who’ll need it more.

  6. amandageddon – She is a slacker of the highest order, a geek of not so much, went back to school to become an even bigger geek and possibly get paid for it. She loves it when a plan comes together.

    Happy Birthday Athena! One more year until double digits!!

  7. Happy Birthday, Athena! I’m going to assume that you informed your parents early on about the evil of combination birthday/Christmas gifts? Because it totally sucked when I was growing up.

    We who celebrate December birthdays need to put an end to this sorry practice once and for all! And rest assured that my son, with whom I share a birthday, never had to suffer that fate.

  8. Skinny Guy,

    I just went (on the 19th) to a party for my friends’ daughter’s first birthday.

    As my Mom’s birthday is on the 16th, and she never had birthday parties as a kid, I agree that it’s important to separate out birthdays from Christmas.

  9. Happy birthday Athena (and Yanni and Tania’s Grandmother) – and since it seems to be obligatory in the comments, I’ll mention my Grandmother is 90 today.

  10. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    SLT (Chang O.C.'s Kid) who is almost 9

    Happy Birthday, Athena!

  11. Random Michele K,

    My son and I are both fortunate that my wife came from a family with December well represented in the birthday department. She made certain that our b-days were never confused with Christmas.

  12. You know, she looks grumpier than a badger with a rash.

    Athena, if it hasn’t happened already, you’ll have a new set of nerves coming online soon. They’re called stretch receptors, and they tell you where your limbs and such are even when you’re not looking.

    When I was about your age, back in 1963, I got to take part in a study. A grad student from San Diego State College (now San Diego State University) take a bunch of us out to some playground equipment at our school and had us do a few things for him. One of my favorites was walking around on the sandbox bench (wooden) backwards, with my eyes closed. We were able to do things like that because our stretch receptors were working, and telling us where we were and what our bodies were doing even without seeing. Once your stretch receptors go into action you won’t believe how you got along without them.

    Another thing that happens to kids your age is that your sense of touch becomes more sensitive. Along with your new sense of your body and the hormones now rampaging through you, it means you’re going to have the strong urge to go skyclad whenever possible. That is, naught upon your skin. This is normal, most every girl your age goes through this. But keep your dad in mind, there will be times when going nude is simply not the right thing to do. And there are adults who have hissy fits at the sight of naked flesh.

    You’ve got more growth spurts on the way, and your pre-frontal lobes will be growing in in about a year or so. You’re now entering a stage of life where you and dad will see more changes than at any time since your first two years of life. A lot of them will be scary, but in time you’ll become a very different person than you are now, and join the ranks of all the fine ladies you now wish you were one of.

    Just remember, a lot of women have gone through what you’ll be going through. Odds are you’ll make it just fine. But spare a thought or two for your poor dad, he has to start thinking of boyfriends where you’re concerned. :)

  13. I think December kids should celebrate 1/2 birthdays in July.

    My wife was born right after Xmas. I make sure to take her out on her half-birthday, and once a year not-in-December-or-January do something random with a gift and tell her it’s for her birthday. (One reason she puts up with me.)

  14. Alan Kellogg:

    That was very kind of you to say. However, in this particular case, she looks moody because I pointed the camera at her and said “look moody!”

  15. Scalzi sez: That was very kind of you to say. However, in this particular case, she looks moody because I pointed the camera at her and said “look moody!”

    She might have an acting career ahead of her if she takes direction that well. :)

  16. #43 John Scalzi,

    She does grumpy well. :)

    You’re welcome BTW.

    Be sure to be on the look out for sudden displays of affection and random acts of romanticism. It’s normal, but it can be disconcerting when you’re used to the more aloof 8 year old.

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