Happy Athenamas to All

Yet again, the planet has swung around to the day wherein my wife and I burst into our daughter’s room while she is still sleeping, shout “Happy Birthday!” at her and shove a flaming pastry at her while she’s still groggy. We love it. Well, Krissy and I do. I suspect the kid tolerates it because she gets cake for breakfast at the end of it.

Athena is 17, the year in which one is allowed to watch R-rated movies without a parent, which as we all know is a momentous marker in any young North American’s life. She will not be celebrating by seeing an R-rated movie, although we did take her to see The Force Awakens last night and about halfway through it became her birthday, so there is at least some cinematic aspect to the day.

As my gift to you this day, I present you with the song that was playing in the delivery room the moment Athena was born, on this day, seventeen years ago. It’s “Waltz Across Texas Tonight,” performed by Emmylou Harris, from her 1995 album Wrecking Ball. It’s probably my favorite album, so I’m delighted to have it forever associated with one of the most important and joy days in my life, the day my and Krissy’s child was born. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Athenamas.

45 Comments on “Happy Athenamas to All”

  1. Happy Birthday, Athena! Mine was yesterday, so I know the struggle of December birthdays. Glad you make time to sepaate it from the other celebrations going on – goo d on ya!

  2. Much changes in 17 years, and 17 years from now will be very different indeed for the birthday girl.

    As a Texan and a mild fan of Emmylou Harris, I can naturally appreciate the muscial accompaniment.

    Happy Birthday to Athena, congratulations to her mom and dad.

  3. It sounds like you already know, but for the benefit of others: As someone who also has a late December birthday, never *ever* say, “We got you one *BIIIIIG* present…”

  4. Flaming pastry shoved at you first thing is loads better than waking up to a be-buttered nose! She’s lucky! And happy birthday to her!

  5. Happy birthday, Athena, from someone who was born 40 years to the day before you were. It’s a pretty great day to be born — just ask the Emperor of Japan!

  6. Athena was born on the Solstice? That’s awesome ! :)

    Happy Birthday from Tamora Pierce and I, Athena – no wonder your parents named your after a goddess.

  7. As a fellow haver of a December birthday, happy birthday to your daughter.

    Unlike many others, I was a fan of the 1 big present thing as a kid. Provided it was the Big Thing I wanted, of course.

  8. Happy birthday Athena! Happy “we’ve been parents for 17 years!” day to you and Krissy, John. :-)

  9. How wonderful that you were born, Athena! And that every year, this day gives you a chance to celebrate with parents who love you so much they can’t resist sharing their delight, again and again, with the whole crowd of friends and friendly strangers who enjoy the Scalzi family’s approach to living.

    Many thanks for this moment of joy in my day, too.

  10. Happy birthday, Athena! And happy Athenamas to John and Krissy, and the 4-legged family members, too.

  11. Happy birthday to Athena! Though I keep mis-seeing “Athenamas” as “Anathemas”….

    You aren’t the only one.

  12. Part of me is now wondering how many people have purchased “Wrecking Ball” by Emmylou Harris, thinking they were getting Miley Cyrus’s work. Y’know, I think I’m okay with that.

    And congrats to Miss Scalzi on another successfully completed trip around the sun!

  13. Happy Birthday, Athena! You are now an adult in the Wizarding world and can do magic outside Hogwarts anytime you like. Use your powers for good.

  14. Happy Birthday, Athena. And no matter how goofy and annoying your parents are now, you’ll remember your birthday awakenings fondly someday.

  15. My son is about 6 months older than Athena, and Wrecking Ball was on heavy play in our house during the months leading up to his birth.

    He was born late on a rainy night after a rather long and unpleasant labor (mostly unpleasant for my wife, mind you). After he had been born and tagged and all that stuff, I drove home at about 5 in the morning to start making all the phone calls and other notifications, listening to Wrecking Ball as I drove down a New Jersey highway. Emmylou was singing ‘Orphan Girl’ about having no mother, no father, no sister and no brother, and I suddenly just BURST into tears, crying so hard that I had to pull off under an overpass until the song was over and I could see again.

    I don’t cry anymore when I hear that song, but I can still conjure up the sound of her voice and the rain and the noise of the windshield wipers and the road without even trying to do so. She’s just that sunk into my head.

    Please congratulate Athena and Krissy for her birth and growth, and (maybe) save some of those congratulations for yourself as well.

  16. Happy birthday, Athena, and many happy returns (I particularly liked the Athena owl pendant you were wearing in your recent BW photo). If you feel at all shorted by having a birthday that’s (a) so close to the commercial Chanukkkwanzmas extravaganza and (b) on or about the shortest day of the year, perhaps you could just lobby for an unbirthday celebration (cf. Lewis Carroll) on the summer solstice.

  17. Dear John,

    I can’t quite parse what is being proffered in that photo. The best my eye can interpret it is as a flaming pinecone, and I think that would be a bit of an unlikely birthday celebration even in your household.


    Dear lif,

    It’s a much better sentiment as Ted Sturgeon wrote it: “Prosper and live long.” Because, really, what’s the logic in wishing that someone live a long time and THEN prosper?


    Dear Peter,

    My first girlfriend had the misfortune to be born on December 26. She always got the short end of the stick (party and presentswise). I sincerely doubt the Scalzi family would let that kind of thing happen.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

  18. Happy (slightly late) birthday, Athena!

    And half-birthdays are great for those born this time of year. My cousin’s husband was born on December 25, and when he was growing up his parents always planned a big half-birthday party for him and all his friends on June 25 (in addition to the family party on the actual date, which was always kept separate from family Christmas).

  19. Happy Birthday Athena. My middle granddaughter’s birthday is the 26th. She was born on the day the massive tsunami hit Thailand. I wanted to name her Tsu, but was overruled. Her parents have no sense of humor.

  20. I am glad John Hedtke got to you with the Horde Happy Birthday song (sung properly to the dirge). My favorite verse is the one sung last. (I also think it should be the verse for the Air Force :^) If this does not help, just find the filk circle at your next con… hehehe ….)

    For a good list of verses (which, by definition, is never complete): http://www.3fgburner.net/bdaysong.htm

    And to her mother: Happy Birthing Day!