It’s a very serious thing, being eleven years old, which is what Athena is today.

I’m happy to say she continues to be the absolute joy in my life. Yes, even as a “tween.” Which she is very excited about now being, by the way. And who can blame her.

I could say more, but I won’t, except to say, Happy Birthday, Athena. I love you.

89 Comments on “11”

  1. Birthday on December 23rd? Bummer. You’ve Christmas all elbowing in on your action.

    And only 2 more years until high school, and after that, it’s off to the races. Don’t blink, because when you open your eyes again she’ll be 24 with a career and car payments and the whole bit.

  2. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    Happy birthday Miss Scalzi! Do please try to enjoy it.

  3. rxgreene – I'm a 30 something tech junkie with a yen for imagining how things might/maybe should work. Married with one child. I work in the car business running a business development center. This is my dedicated tech theory playground, I hope you enjoy it!
    Ryan Greene

    Happy Birthday Athena! 11 was a great time for me, and I hope it is even better for you!

  4. Happy Birthday, Athena!

    I have to admit to being a little biased about the awesome-ness of this day: it’s my birthday, too!

    Have a fantastic day, and warmest wishes for the year ahead….. :)

  5. My kid turns 11 on Dec 29. He was due on Xmas but late (and, unfortunately, continues to run late).

    It is a fabulous age.

    Happy birthday Athena and PJ. :)

  6. Happy Birthday!

    My daughter is 20 but I remember her being a tween and she was a lot of fun in those years (she’s still fun, but in a different way now).

  7. anotherdamnedmedievalist – I'm a medievalist. I teach. I try to research. I write about academia, life, and cats. I'm starting to believe I might fit in with the smart, cool medievalists, but I have a hard time not feeling like a fangirl when I'm with them. Contact me at: another_damned_medievalistATSIGNhotmailDOTcom
    Another Damned Medievalist

    Many Happy Returns of the day to the new tweenie!

  8. Happy Birthday to Athena, and Happy We-Have-A-Daughter Day to you and Krissy.

    As time has passed and I’ve watched my 15 year old son and his friends grow up, I’ve come to the conclusion that sons are easier on the nerves than daughters. I hope Athena’s next few years don’t frazzle yours.

  9. @23 Lauren Funny, I only have a daughter and I often thought the reverse. ;-)

    Happy Birthday to Athena.

    I hope her “tweens” aren’t too annoying to her parents. I suspect it will take both of your brains to stay one step ahead of her tween and teenage schemes. Just keep telling yourself that it will all be better when she’s sixteen (at least, that’s when it got better with my daughter) and everyone will make it out alive.

  10. Happy Birthday, Athena. I have an 11-year-old of the other flavor (boy) and he’s a delight. Here’s his favorite thing to do. Text his mom and say: Mom, you suck.

    Yes, she knows it means “I love you.” Your mileage may vary.

  11. Rock on, Athena! Each age is the best so enjoy it while you got it. I just finished 44 and I can tell you it just gets better and better. I’m looking forward to 45 – so far, it’s been great (ok, it’s only a few hours but hey).

  12. Congrats and Happy Birthday Athena!!! It is also my Father in law’s Birthday today. But Athena’s is much more important. lol :P

  13. A very happy birthday to Athena. My own 11 year old is preparing to turn 12 in just over six weeks.

    And to Another Andrew@37: tween is a marketing term for those who are beTWEEN their single digits and their teenage years.

  14. I distinctly remember liking being eleven, and I hope Athena does too.

    And we December babies are all too aware of the birthday/Christmas thing. Right now, it’s combo birthday/Christmas presents; when you’re a grownup, it’ll be people never being able to make your birthday dinner because they’re already out of town for the holidays.

    But I’m getting sidetracked. Happy birthday!

  15. Happy Birthday, Athena!

    When I was your age I was becoming a huge baseball fan; I don’t recommend this, as sports breaks your heart regularly. Particularly if your team is usually lousy.

    The rest of my eleventh year was pretty good, so enjoy it.

  16. The 40 Hour Creative – I'm here to help you be creative! I've written plays and created the web series THE CANADIANS (now on Amazon Prime), among other things. Seth Godin said 'start a blog,' so we'll see how long this lasts.
    Greg M.

    In one of my favorite YA novels, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, the hero, Will, wakes up on his 11th birthday to discover that time has stopped, and then that he’s been thrust back several hundred years into the past, and it’s the beginning of a great (if occasionally terrifying) adventure.

    I was disappointed when I woke up on my 11th birthday, and time hadn’t stopped, so hopefully Athena won’t be expecting that, but other than that, she should have an excellent year.

  17. Happy Birthday, Athena!

    Enjoy yourself. Although you may have a problem with combination Birthday/Christmas presents, at least you’ll get your Birthday off of school a lot of the time.

  18. Happy birthday, Athena!

    As a side note, best girl’s name ever.

    I spent four years thinking that 11 was pronounced ‘eleventeen,’ thanks to my enterprising and insidious younger sister. As a teenager, I should have known better, and yet. It’s astonishing what persistence and aggressive marketing can do to alter reality. Before I managed to break the habit, half my high school class was convinced.

    Strangely, she had no strong feelings about 12, so we were allowed to continue pronouncing it ‘twelve,’ as dictated by tradition.

  19. Happy birthday to Athena and all the other folks celebrating a Discordian birthday today. Alas, I missed by a day, and will be celebrating my birthday tomorrow in traditional fashion: playing lots of board and card games with my family, then going out for a steak dinner. Good times.

  20. Happy Birthday from another Festivus/ Discordian bday baby!

    The good news is that it’s easy for others to see gift guides and shops filled with interesting items when shopping for a December birthday… not so easy for those June babies.

    And your birthday candles burn all the brighter when sunset is at 5pm.

  21. Happy Birthday, Athena. Don’t give your parents too much grief.

    Unfortunately eleven year olds nowadays already act like teenagers. Hopefully Athena is in the minority. Boys at eleven think they know it all. I’m hoping that girls at eleven (I have a four year old girl and two teenage boys) seem to be as sweet and great as Athena is.

  22. delenn13 – Great White North by way of Florida – I have the intellectual confidence to appear stupid. Sometimes. Being over 50 I can blame my age/meds, also. http://delenn13.livejournal.com/profile

    11 years ago? Seems like 44 years ago. Oh, yeah, it was.

    I digress……a lot.

    Happy Birthday, Athena!

    Don’t blink, John. She will be 20.

  23. 11 is a good birthday. (For me, I kept hoping, silly me, that I would find out I really did have magical powers, a la Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, where Will comes into his power on his 11th birthday.)

    Happy 11th Athena!

    ETA: I see I’m not the only Dark is Rising fan here in Scalziland. :)

  24. The thing is that you really do have magical powers when you turn eleven, just like Will and Harry Potter.

    The secret is that you had them when you were ten–you just didn’t know it.

    The bigger secret is that you still have them now, no matter how old you are.

    And the biggest secret is that everyone else has them, too.

    Happy birthday, Athena!

  25. TheMadLibrarian @ 64: The movie is dead to me, from the first iPod encrusted trailer that made Will an AMERICAN! (Yes, take a story that is about Britain’s greatest legends, like Arthur and Wayland Smith, and make the hero an American kid! BAD IDEA.) Also it made me sad when Ian McShane said he hadn’t even really bothered to read the books before playing Merriman/Merlin.

  26. I wasn’t aware that tweens were defined so strictly. Around here they start at nine or ten, or later if you are enjoying your childhood.

    My eleven year old is still a delight, and I expect him to stay that way for at least a few more decades.

  27. Happy Birthday Athena!

    Just a few fun facts about your time around this world of ours. Give or take a few hours, you’ve been alive:

    * 132 months
    * 574 weeks
    * 96,432 hours
    * 5,785,920 minutes
    * 347,155,200 seconds

    I hope every second of every day is a good one for you.

  28. Happy birthday, Athena! May you continue towards your inevitable role as Empress of the known universe, and may death come swiftly to your enemies on that day.

  29. How lovely – many happy returns, Athena. You share a birthday with my little sister, so I have incontrovertible proof fantastic people are born on the 23rd. Make sure your dad gets you that pony/iPod/half-pony-half-iPod you so richly deserve.

  30. 11 is the last repunit prime age (base 10) for a long time. Until she’s 1111111111111111111 years old. And then again at 11111111111111111111111 years old.


    My high school students, each semester, by majority tell me that 111 is prime. But no.

    111 = 3 x 37
    1111 = 11 x 101
    11111 = 41 x 271
    111111 = 3 x 7 x 11 x 13 x 37
    1111111 = 239 x 4649
    11111111 = 11 x 73 x 101 x 137
    111111111 = 3^2 x 37 x 333667
    1111111111 = 11 x 41 x 271 x 9091
    11111111111 = 21649 x 513239
    111111111111 = 3 x 7 x 11 x 13 x 37 x 101 x 9901
    1111111111111 = 53 x 79 x 265371653
    11111111111111 = 11 x 239 x 4649 x 909091
    111111111111111 = 3 x 31 x 37 x 41 x 271 x 2906161
    1111111111111111 = 11 x 17 x 73 x 101 x 137 x 5882353
    11111111111111111 = 2071723 x 5363222357
    111111111111111111 = 3^2 x 7 x 11 x 13 x 19 x 37 x 52579 x 333667
    and 1111111111111111111, as I say, is prime.

    She might want to check some of those multiplications on a calculator. Then appreciate 11 even more.

  31. Hope Athena has a Happy, Happy Day!

    It has been a joy watching her grow up on the pages of your blog. She is an amazing child… you have every reason to be proud of her!

  32. Many happy returns, Athena. You share a birthday with my mother, who turned 3/4 of a century old. Yowza–talk about serious! ;-)

  33. Happy Birthday Athena! Being 11 is the best job in the world!

    John and Krissy: Hang on tight. From what I hear, the ride gets pretty wild from here. ;-)

  34. Happy Birthday, Athena.

    Isn’t it annoying having a birthday so close to Xmas? Mine is the 24th (today).

    Enjoy being 11. It’s a fun age.

  35. Another happy belated, Athena – this is what I get for not being an internet addict and checking compulsively every day.

    Also, Mr. S –

    a) This means I’ve been reading your blog for more than half your kid’s life, because I seem to recall a post declaring Athena’s 5th birthday; and

    b) Damn but she looks like her mom. :-)

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