Athena, Age 12

And clearly thinking about very serious things.

If you feel the need to wish my daughter a happy birthday, I would not look askance upon it.

114 Comments on “Athena, Age 12”

  1. A happy birthday to Athena, and congrats to you, John, on shepherding another living being through 12 years of life. From your postings here, I think the teenage years will not be so hard for you as a parent than they can be for others, although I fully expect Athena to be a lovely and strange teenager in all the best ways!

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    Jeff

    Happy Birthday, Athena! Your mom and dad are no doubt proud beyond measure to see you growing into such a talented and beautiful young lady.

    And while I have the floor: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Scalzi clan and all my fellow Whateverites!

  3. Happy 12th birthday, Athena! You share it with a fantastic young man — my own son Paul is 12 today also. The 12 year olds who think about very serious things will be the adults who bring about very serious changes. Don’t stop, either of you!

  4. 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
    Chang, who isn't going shopping for pet food at 9PM

    Happy 12th, Athena!!! Sagittarians rock!!!

  5. Happy Birthday! Oh and next year you become a teenager and get super secret teenage powers.

  6. Happy day-before-my-birthday birthday, Athena (and Paul)! #secretCapricornbuttwiggle

    (To forestall any confusion: I will not be turning 12 this year. I will be turning something considerably larger, with a depressingly round 0 on the end of it. I should ask Scalzi for guidance, since he’s been there recently.)

  7. Wishes for the happiest birthday (so far!) being sent to Athena! Be sure to keep your dad on his toes this year! :)

  8. Happy Birthday Athena for a milestone birthday – 12! Very serious thinking to be had at this age indeed. :)

    Have fun!!!

  9. Happy birthday to a very serious young lady who will more than likely change the world someday!

  10. Happy Birthday, Athena! Also, awesome dragonfly is awesome! ^__^ (Or, I assume it’s a dragonfly on your hand…looks like a dragon fly)

    And while I”m at it, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  11. Happy birthday! Nice tat. Does this make you a fellow Capricorn? (And yes, it does sort of suck having your birthday this close to Christmas. Mine is January 7).

  12. Happy Birthday, Athena!

    (To John and Krissy – I hope she’s less ‘tweeny’ than my sister has been for the 1st 6 months of her 13th year.)

  13. partlowspool – I'm a writer. I'm also a reader, a mom, a wife, a compulsive collector of recipes, adoring subject of two cats, and I value laughter as the answer to everything. If it's not the answer, I prefer to change the question. Why am I writing a blog? To vent all the miscellaneous and clever stuff that bobs around in my skull. To document my writing adventures. To encourage people to read, to write and to laugh.
    partlowspool

    Happy Birthday from another Dec. 23rd baby. All the very best and sassiest women are born on this day!

  14. Happy Birthday, Athena. Thanks for being such a neat kid and providing us so much entertainment on your Dad’s blog.

  15. A very Happy Birthday, Athena… these are the really fun years, the best you’ll ever have… fully enjoy them!!!

    I always felt it really sucked to have a birthday so close to Xmas… I mean,dude, you get ALL your gifts for the whole year at one time!! Of course, having far-out future-thinking parents might entitle you to an “imagined, honorary mid-year birthday”… who says you can’t have two birthdays a year??

  16. Happy birthday, Athena!
    When I was in labor, my nurse commented that it was unfortunate my kid would have a birthday in December (yes, that was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear just then). But as it turns out, she likes it – it’s like an entire week of parties for her. Of course, she just turned four years old, so this may change…

  17. Happy birthday, Athena!
    I hope you always ensure that Mr Scalzi provides the full complement of birthday *and* Christmas presents!!

  18. Jen – wife. mother. knitter. unschooler. band geek. fatass. card-carrying socialist. militant breastfeeder. profane. agnostic. ENFP
    CTJen

    Happy Birthday, Athena! <}:-)

  19. 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

    Hippo birdie two ewes, hippo birdies two ewe, hippo birdie deer Athena, hippo birdie two ewes!

    Enjoy your day, and don’t forget all the little people you crushed on your way to world domination!

  20. Hi there, Happy Birthday, and hang in there. Trust me, the older you get, the weirder mom and dad will be. It’s ok, you’ll survive.
    Dave
    P. S. My Samantha thought your song that you posted was WAY COOL!!

  21. It is my baby brother’s birthday today also.

    Happy Birthday to the both of you and Happy Holidays to all Whateverettes.

  22. Happy Birthday, chica! I hope you have a great day and I further hope that your father is cool enough that you get birthday presents that are entirely separate from your Christmas presents. Demand equality!

  23. Happy Birthday, Athena. If I interpret your dad’s post right, and today’s your birthday . . . then, FYI, it’s my mom’s birthday today, too. ;-) I’ll be giving her a few presents in a couple of hours, yay! I hope you got yours already.

  24. Hi Athena! happy birthday. my twelth year was really excellent, and i hope yours is too.

    Louise Curtis

  25. Happy Birthday, Athena… and, I’m sure I speak for most of the Universe here in expressing my gratitude that you mostly look like your mother… LOL

  26. Happy birthday, Athena. You’re just months away from a very special event. It’s one that happens to women on a monthly basis, and your mother can explain it to you. But, no matter how well she explains it, it will come as a surprise to you. It’s nothing world ending, and it won’t mean you’re a mutant or dying. It does mean that you are coming one step closer to becoming a mother yourself, sometime in the future.

    Enjoy the dwindling days of childhood, for in a year’s time you’ll officially be an adolescent. Enjoy also these brief few days of grace, for when you turn 13 you’ll go through a growth spurt that’ll turn you into a klutz. Nothing to be done about it, for it’s all part of growing up.

    Enjoy also these days, soon to pass, when you’ll not only be mentally superior to boys, but physically superior as well. When you turn 15 boys well enjoy a physical superiority, but it is a rare boy who ever exhibits any sort of mental equality—let alone superiority—to a girl.

    One final bit of advice for you, never underestimate adults. They have more on the ball than you think. Especially your parents. After all, they remember when you ran around the house skyclad, giggling like a loon.

    Happy birthday, and may Christmas be a good one for you and those you love.

  27. revelationandchange – I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and - oh, wait, wrong profile. Sometimes girly, sometimes nerdy, and usually sarcastic. A little bit serious, a little bit goofy, always optimistic. Sappy commercials make me cry, and I laugh louder and longer than anyone else. I strive to be happy, kind, and a friend to everyone. Basically, I'm awesome. "Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough." --Richard M. DeVos
    Steph

    Happy birthday, Athena! My birthday is today as well, although I’m a bit older than you! Let’s have a slice of cake for each other. :o)

  28. Happy Birthday, Athena. Yes, 12 is serious business, but don’t forget to just kick back and be completely silly on a regular basis. Trust, me, it does wonders for the mind.

  29. Alan Kellogg:

    Please stop trying to explain puberty, et al to Athena. I know you’re trying to be helpful and mean well, but I don’t think it comes across the way you intend it to. In any event, yes, we’ve got all of that covered.

  30. As is often the case, I manage to wix mords and find myself using a term my teensy brain associates with another.

    Hence, because my one son is a tiger and the other a dragon, I twisted up which year this is in the Chinese cycle. Athena, like my Number One Son, is obviously a tiger, not a dragon. And a doughty one at that, one suspects.

    My apologies and continued wishes for her good health and prosperity.

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