Athena’s 22 today, and while she can (and may!) give her own thoughts about being that age to you, on my end I think this last year has been an eventful one for her. As it has been for most of us: 2020 was not so much a curveball as it was a fastball aimed at the world’s collective face, and it’s fair to say that most of us didn’t duck in time. In Athena’s case, a semester she took off from college became a whole year, and possibly more, as a pandemic basically rewrote the university experience worldwide.
As a parent, I wouldn’t have thought I’d’ve been okay with such a long hiatus from school, but Athena has not let the time go by idly. Most notably, of course, she’s been working for me here, both writing pieces and taking care of some back end stuff for me. Working with my kid has been, by and large, a joy for me, and seeing her develop as a writer — and being able to help her do so — has genuinely been one of the most satisfying things I have gotten to do as a father. I am really proud of her, and her work.
We will see where this next year takes all of us, but I have confidence in my kid. None of us, I think, are currently walking the road we expected to this year, or have necessarily arrived at the milestones we expected to reach. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. The path we’re now on can still take us to where we want to be, or to someplace else we didn’t know we wanted to be before we got there. I’m looking forward to seeing where Athena’s path takes her in the next year, and I love that I get to walk that path with her, at least some of the way.
I love you, Athena. Happy birthday.