Back when Athena was very young, we didn’t tell her when her birthday was; she would know when her mother and I would suddenly burst into her room one morning, bearing a cake and singing “Happy Birthday.” Now, at age 23, Athena is aware of when her birthday is, but Krissy and I still enjoy bursting into her room with a cake and singing to her. Family traditions! Silly and yet important.

Athena tells me this is her “Golden Birthday,” which I am told means her age (23) matches up with the date of her birthday in the month. What this tells me is that people born in February 29 never get a golden birthday, which seems vaguely unfair. Be that as it may, it’s an excuse to make this birthday a special occasion among special occasions, so, why not.

I’ve posted many times before about how happy I am Athena is my kid, so I don’t need to go into it right now, except to say that I still continue to feel that way. I would not ask her to be other than who she is, and who that person is, is pretty terrific. I do hope that on this Athenamas, you tell someone you love — child, partner, family member, friend — how important they are to you and how glad you are they are in your life. I feel that way about Athena. It’s a good feeling.

— JS

38 Comments on “23”

  1. I hope she’s having a great day! How’s she doing? I vaguely recall that she took a break from writing here because she was going through some stuff and needed to kinda back off and rest. I hope things are better for her now.

    Merry Christmas to the Scalzi clan!

  2. Happy 23rd Birthday, Athena! I hope your life is going well. I miss your contributions to Whatever. Perhaps you could do a guest column and update your many fans?

  3. Happy 23 on 23 Athena! I miss her blog posts and hope she has a wonderful new year at this prime age.

  4. Happy Birthday Athena!!
    May your next trip around the sun include amazing adventures and delicious foods.

  5. Congratulations on surviving another orbit of the Sun!

    And wouldn’t people that turn 29 on a leap year get a golden birthday, per the given definition?

  6. I love that she’s still got stuffed animals (animes? they look like Japanese animated characters to me) in bed with her. My almost-15-year-old has 2 stuffed animals she’s kept in her bed non-stop since infancy and I dread the day she outgrows them.

    Happy Birthday Athena!

  7. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I think of your tradition of bursting into your child’s room with an early morning fiery cake and singing at her. Not to mention your pride in her and love for her, but further, your respect for her as her own person. My folks didn’t really have that, and my efforts to overcome my feelings about that been quite a long road. So bravo.

  8. I am happy for you and Athena that you are happy she’s your kid. I’m pretty sure my own father didn’t feel that way, and it does take a bit of years to get over that.
    Happy birthday Athena.

  9. Happy Birthday to her, I wish her the best on this golden birthday. I bet she’s just as happy having you two as her parents, you’re a great team together.

    Best wishes to everyone.

  10. A very happy birthday to Miss Athena, and a wish that she make an occasional reappearance here if that brings her joy.

    And a thank you to John for so openly loving your kid.

  11. A very happy birthday to you, Athena, and may you enjoy many more years of health, laughter and love!

  12. I never realized my golden years were that far behind me.

    Happy birthday, Athena! Write more soon.

  13. Happy happy, Athena. Hope it’s a fantastic day, you know, except for the parents waking you up an an ungodly hour and all. All the best wishes for a great year. Miss your posts.

  14. Joyous Athenamas!

    mearsk and Steve Nicholson, a friend of mine was born on February 29, and while for legal purposes his age is number of years since his birth he counts birthdays based on how many actual birth days he’s had. (I think he turns 13 and 1/2 next year by that count.) 29 times 4 equals nope, not getting a golden birthday on that counting method either unless health care radically improves in a hurry.

  15. Thank you to awesome Dads who love their daughters unconditionally. There is no substitute for that and the best thing any guy can aspire to in life.

    My Dad sent me roses today, because I’ve been working so hard. And bless him, he’s 93! A Dad’s love will follow you long after he is gone. Have a great day, Athena, and treasure your parents–you’ve got awesome ones.

  16. Happy Birthday to Athena! How lovely it is to have parents who dote on you and bring you flaming cake. I adore my children but have never brought them cake in bed; in my defense, they’d just be annoyed that I woke them up.

  17. Happy birthday, Athena! Merry “Golden Year”! (Haha, mine happened when I was one.) All best wishes to you.

  18. I speak on behalf of all Canadians when I wish you a Happy Birthday, Athena!

    (Yes, I’m allowed to do this. Really).

%d bloggers like this: