In which I am a proud father

"I have to tell you," Jonathan Coulton's wife said to me on the last night of the cruise, "how wonderful your boys are."

"I have two daughters," Peter Sagal's wife told Anne, "and I hope this isn't weird or creepy, but I really hope they meet guys like your sons."

"Dude, you know you raised your kids right when they are awesome and not lame even when you're not around," my friend Kathleen said.

In each of these instances, I was as proud as I was relieved. When they were growing up, it was important to me that I protected Ryan and Nolan's privacy, and I kept them out of the public eye (visually, I mean) as much as I could. I knew that #JoCoCruiseCrazy would be the first time a lot of people would actually see them. I knew that most of those people would have cameras, and I knew that it was unrealistic and unreasonable to expect those cameras wouldn't ever be turned on my kids. Before we left, I had long talks with both of them about all of this, and I urged them to comport themselves in a way that would make them and us proud. They assured me that they understood in their own way: Ryan told me, "Yeah, I get it. Don't worry." Nolan rolled his eyes at me and said I was being "lame."

Ah, youth.

Anyway, I had a great time on the JoCo Cruise, but before I actually recall it in my own way, I needed to get this out of the way.

I've waited almost ten years to do this. Internet, please meet my family:

We are Wheatons

That's Anne, me, Ryan, and Nolan.

This is probably my favorite picture that's ever been taken of me and Ryan:

Wil and Ryan have moustaches

Please enjoy the bonus Kevin Murphy photobomb.

So with this important formality out of the way, I can now get down to the very important business of recounting some of the things I loved about the cruise. Until I get the thoughts out of my head and into words, though, I highly recommend reading Stepto's and Molly's blogs, as well as JoCo's Open Letter to the Seamonkeys.

106 thoughts on “In which I am a proud father”

  1. So there they are :-) They don’t look anything like in the book 😛 I also so the future authors of Happiest Days Of Our Lives part 2 and 3.
    My picture would involve my 2 kids, I and an attic (you, know, single dad, divorce and stuff). Yesterday I played Magic the Gathering with them. It was also the first time I played it. Same goes for Warhammer, I played it with them first. With no holds barred, I’m geekifying them. Which is probably the reason I’m still single. I really should go out more but that means sacrificing time with my kids.

  2. I saw the second one in Mr. Moore’s stack of JoCoCruise Crazy pics and also thought it noteworthy.
    By the way, I felt compelled to mention this:
    I’m not usually this gushy, but given the state of youth who are contemporaries of your own, and have had a similar set of circumstances in their development…
    On a humanist note: It is a rarity and a gift that you were able to shield your boys from the harsh glare of fame for the most part.
    It’s a rare miracle that children (of parents that have any degree of fame) get to be their age and and are (for lack of a better term) normal.
    At the end of your life (hopefully a long ways off from now), when you look back, you and Mrs. W have more than any other accomplishment, truly accomplished a miracle.
    A rare blessing. Personally, my respect for you has increased. Kudos and standing O to you both.

  3. As I can’t really come up with anything creative, witty, or even remotely original to say, I will echo the statements of those before me.
    It is a pleasure to meet you all. May we (the internet) prove worthy of the trust and faith you have placed in us by introducing us to your family.
    A toast to the Wheatons!

  4. Makes me sorry I missed the moustache formal. But everything I saw of your kids on the cruise was awesome, right up to the “anonymous” question at the Q&A about just exactly how awesome Ryan is. It was a great coming out party of sorts for them (in the traditional debutante sense, not the gay sense, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  5. Wow, a big moment for your longtime readers. Thanks for trusting us enough to meet your sons, Wil. :-) And I absolutely love that the first time the Internet sees your whole family, you’re all wearing ridiculous fake moustaches. Well played, sir.

  6. So you were like 12 when they were born? :) You are one lucky bastard and have a most beautiful family. I am honored to meet them and to be able to call myself a fan of yours

  7. What a lovely family.
    I applaud you and Anne for keeping their lives private.
    And if you don’t frame that family pic, then I might just lose a bit of respect for you. Anne’s unibrow alone is worthy of a framing!

  8. What an awesome family! Thanks for sharing! So glad you could enjoy the cruise with them. Before I forget, saw this awesome Dalek shirt (which I will be getting myself) and thought you’d might enjoy, only available for 4 more hours.

  9. Thank you for sharing the pic with us all. It is the openness and personal nature of your posts that keep us all coming back over and over again. You, sir, are an inspiration, and have an absolutely wonderful family to show off there.

  10. I’ve commented about this before, Wil, but I’ll say it again: my absolute favorite blog posts of yours are the ones about you and your sons.
    Absolutely. This.

  11. Awesome family photo! I have to admit, my first thought on seeing this: what good looking boys you have. Their personalities really shine through in this photo, too, making it something more than the gorgeous blond locks and chiseled jaws. :)
    Seriously, beautiful family, and what a compliment from a parent, stating they hope their daughters might meet someone like your boys. My fondest memories of my Dad include those unexpected father/daughter moments in which he would suddenly spring these serious heart-to-hearts on me. Like the time we went shopping together, and he opened my car door for me, and then went on a fifteen minute “You know, if a guy you date doesn’t do this for you, he doesn’t deserve your regard” talk. Or the time he told me about this new young guy at work who was proving himself a reliable and hard working sort, and Dad noticed this one day and thought “It would be all right if my daughter ended up with someone like him.”
    Sadly, he passed away before ever getting to meet my husband. But I think he’d have been very happy with my choice, and I’m sure somewhere, he is.

  12. Looks like Ryan can cock a single eyebrow with such skill as to make his stepdad proud,and Nolan looks like he’s had plenty of practice for his,”whatever”-casual pose.;-)

  13. Wil, the family is beautiful. I hope my two boys (12 and 9) end up as great as yours. I have to tell you that my oldest loves listening to Just a Geek. It really speaks to him, as it did to me. (You know, in more than the literal sense. :) ) You’ve made growing up just a little easier for him.
    Thank you for sharing!

  14. What a good looking family and such a great picture.
    Ryan looks like he is channeling Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.

  15. I sincerely hope this is happening again in 2011 and includes the full w00tstock compliment. I will find a way to get my wife on a motherfucking boat. Oh, yes … I *will* find a way.

  16. So um, I came here for support in my geekdom and have found someone who’s a geek WITH MORE PARENTING EXPERIENCE THEN ME. Bonus!
    Your 2 boys are gorgeous (watch out!). You have really done a great job. I have two sort of little boys and parenting today in the connected reg world is hard and your doing it in lalala land. Kudos.

  17. I am a first time contributer but a long time reader. Thank you for the unreserved honesty about the process going from the label “step” to being true family in the kindly provided video by a previous post. Fatherhood is in action not biology. My beautiful talented and scary smart daughter does me honor by calling me daddy. Lastly, the Wil Wheaton song is so totally deserved. Keep up the beautiful writing.

  18. Just wanted to add my two cents on this picture – it is a lovely family portrait. That being said, I always pictured Nolan and Ryan as having brown hair, so seeing blond hair on them is really a shock. Great job raising them, Wil…

  19. Do you know how I know they’re your kids? They have their dad’s mustache.
    Fortunately, they don’t have their mom’s eyebrows. On the other hand, how cool is it to be married to a relative of Mexico’s most celebrated artist? I bet it’s very cool!

  20. Are sure that’s your family and not you and couple of your buddies hanging out with a gorgeous woman lol? Seriously though I love the family pic!!! As a mother a three young children I can fully understand why you’ve kept them out of the lime light for so long. It is great to finally have some faces to go with all of the great stories you’ve told about them. I have to say bravo to you sir as you and your wife have raised two amazing boys and molded them into two amazing young men. They are lucky to have you as a father and Anne is one lucky lady to have you as a husband. You should be proud of your accomplishments not only as husband and father but as a writer as well. Keep the books coming and remember geeks rule!!!!

  21. You are indeed blessed to have such an amazing family. Its nice that Nolan And Ryan accepted you into the family. Im in the same situation with my wife, and it has been rocky, but I have been accepted by her 2 kids. Your wife is a knockout, and her kids are amazing, and you are right to feel lucky to have them all.

  22. Thank you for sharing your family photos with us. I understand maintaining their – and your – privacy, and respect how you’ve kept them out of the glaring public eye. But it is nice to see who it is you’re talking about. Gorgeous family, love the fez. Fezzes are cool.

  23. Wil, as others have said, my favorite posts are where you share the experience of being a father with us. This may sound pretty daft, but they give me a nice dose of optimism and self-confidence that I can maybe do all right at this “dad” business and *hopefully* do as well with my daughter as you and Anne seem to have done with your boys. I can’t thank you enough for sharing.

  24. Also known as Peter Sagal, host of JoCo Cruise Crazy’s Hey Hey, I’m an Asshole live quiz show. Maybe this is weird, but I like the way his first and last names match up, in terms of the pattern of consonants and vowels.

  25. I must say I’m a little stunned by the fact that they’re both blond – when I pictured them in my head they had brown hair. (*shrug*) Oh well, great family picture!

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