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October 09, 2002
If you're not ready, holler "Aye!"
I am standing in the kitchen making dinner, listening through the open window to Ryan and Nolan as they play whiffle ball in our front yard.. They're actually playing nicely together, not being overly competitive.
Nolan stands over a patch of dirt, in front of a bush, which represents home plate, while Ryan hurls the ball towards him.
Ryan always tries to throw the ball too hard, and usually has trouble finding the strike zone, so Nolan just sits there, letting the ball bounce off of the house behind him.
Nolan comes in for a drink of water, and without even thinking I tell him, "It sounds like you guys are having a great time out there. Tell you what: you keep up this good attitude, and I'll come out and play with you."
Nolan does a little hop, and says, "COOL!" before he runs back outside. I hear him tell Ryan, "Wil says he'll come play with us!"
They're both excited to play with me...that's cool. I've been really busy these past few weeks, finishing up my book, so I haven't been able to play with the kids very much. They're getting to that age where they want to hang out one minute, and the next minute I'm so incredibly uncool they can't even stand to be in the same room as me. Hearing the genuine excitement in their voices makes my heart swell.
Dinner is really easy tonight: It's a curried tofu with rice dish. I put the rice into the rice cooker, cut the tofu into cubes and put them in the pan. I dump a bunch of curry over them, and I race out to play.
I'm thirty years old and a parent, and I'm racing through my "chores" to go play outside.
When I get there, one of Ryan's friends (who is also called Ryan) has come over to play, so we immediately separate into teams: Nolan and me against the Ryans.
Nolan steps back up to the plate, and Ryan proceeds to walk him. He then walks me, then Nolan again, and we quickly load the bases with ghost runners. The sun is rapidly sinking into the mountains to the west, and the ball is getting hard to see, so I suggest that we call the game so the Ryans can have a few at-bats. Nolan agrees, and we send our ghost runners back down to Triple-A as we head
into the field and take our positions on the grass, and in the street.
Nolan pitches a few balls to Ryan, but it's really too dark to play any longer. Like every other time we've had to call a game on account of darkness, I resolve to install lights over our front lawn so we can play at night, local building codes and my wife's desire for a normal suburban house be damned.
We've been having fun, though, and like the only child who finally has someone to play with, I don't want to go back inside; back to being a grown up...so I suggest that we play hide and seek.
They all excitedly agree, and I'm It.
We quickly define the boundaries, and "Safe." I close my eyes and count to one hundred by fives.
As I shut my eyes and begging to count, the world slows, and I hear my own voice, twenty-one years distant, calling out the same numbers. I'm nine years-old, head buried in my arms as I stand at the light pole on our street which was "Safe," Boston plays on my parent's Techniques turntable, while my dad cooks fish on the Webber Kettle in the back yard. I can smell the smoke as it drifts over the house and hangs in our yard, in the still summer evening.
I'm ten years-old, and I run like crazy, trying to evade Joey Carnes. It is summer, hot and smoggy. My lungs burn with each breath.
I'm eleven years-old, and I can hear the stomp, stomp, stomp of my feet hitting the ground as I look for a hiding place. It's springtime, and the grass is cool and damp beneath me.
I'm twelve years-old, hiding behind the side gate, crouched down, my arm just barely touching the arm of the girl I have a crush on as we hide together. While we listen to the kid counting, I try and fail to screw up the courage to hold her hand. In middle school, she'll break my heart over and over again.
95...100! Ready or not, here I come!
I open my eyes, and I'm back on my street. The kids are well-hidden. Lost in my memories, I didn't think to listen for their footfalls, and I have no idea where they may be.
I walk slowly around a hedge, and see Ryan begin to run across the street, towards "Safe." I run at him, hoping to cut him off, but he's too fast for me. During my pursuit of him, his friend has made it to "Safe," leaving only Nolan undiscovered.
I walk down our street, towards our neighbor's house, and see Nolan racing across the front yard next door. I give chase, and we both run straight through the heavy spray of several Rain Bird sprinkles. Nolan runs very, very fast, but ends up going Out Of Bounds. We return to "Safe," laughing, wiping the water from our faces.
Nolan is It, and begins to count. I run across the street, hiding behind a tree. When I was a kid, I never hid behind trees, preferring cars and fences, with their clever ways to spot an approaching "It"...but I know that if I stand still in the October darkness, he'll never see me. I'm wearing a black
"Ataris" T-shirt and long olive shorts...I'm practically invisible.
Nolan finishes his count, and the chase is on. It is several tries before he catches someone, but his attitude never sours. We are all having a great time playing together, being kids.
Finally, I am just too wiped out to play any more, and I head back inside. Anne asks me to drive Ryan's friend home, and on the way to the car, Ryan's friend tells him, "Your house is so much fun! You're really lucky that your Step-dad plays with you."
Ryan agrees, but warns him that we don't always play like that...Ryan tells him that I've been writing a lot, so I spend a lot of time at my desk. It's the first time in months that I've played with them like that, he says.
He's right. Most of the time these days, I have to be a grown up, and I can't play very much.
But last night, I got to be a kid again, if only for an hour or so, and while I appreciated the sentiment from Ryan's friend, he didn't quite have it right.
Yeah, there was a lucky guy out there playing...but it wasn't Ryan.
Posted by wil at October 9, 2002 02:34 AM
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» Kidhood from koyaa·nisqatsi·org
I found WilWheaton.net a few months ago but most times I checked it, it was kind of boring so I forgot about it. I stumbled across a link to it on another blog I was checking out and clicked it... [Read More]
Tracked on April 22, 2003 06:55 PM
I've only been reading your site for about a month, but I've read everything on it. I can't wait for your book. Be cool to see it on Amazon.com
Wil you rule - my dad never played with us like that let alone a step-dad!
Best place I ever hid was on the roof of the shed next door, the bummer was that once up there I was damned if I could get down again. Needless to say I was the source of hilariy for the rest of the day... man, I sucked at hide and seek!
anybody else call "safe," "ghoul"?
So I am sitting in a computer lab in europe reading wilwheaton.net which will surely get me laughed at by my friends who would think it odd for a cosmopolitan college girl to be a trek fan turned extrek actor blogger fan... but really that was just beautiful and for about ten minutes i lost myself in the fun of your games outdoors. I can't wait to put the book on my shelf to share(after a few readings myself of course)
Sadly, I can never recall my dad playing hide and seek with me at any age. Although I do remember trips in the car, to the museum in Chicago, to the zoo, playing frisbee and a whole lot of other things. There were probably some not so great times as well. 1985. But they seem so unimportant in comparison. I miss my dad.
I'd say you and Ryan were both lucky.
And now, when the boys are grown and counting off while their kids hide, they get to think of that one October evening when they were kids--when they had such a good time playing with their step-dad.
You guys made a memory.
Tofu? Yay! I finally found out something about Wil I don't like! Now I'm gonna watch TNG until I find something about Wesley I DO like, to balance it out :)
Btw, has anyone seen that really funny little TNG 'episode' where Picard put Wesley in the shuttle and blew it up? It was on Morpheus about a year ago (and I just checked Kazaa - it's there too). It's not for kids, but anyone in the UK who wants a copy, I'll send it to them on CD. And, of course, Wil may have a copy (if he says 'please' :)
if you have managed to write a whole book as eloquently as this entry about simply playing with the kids, then i am buying it! again, i am surprised to find how articulate and mature you have become, despite the difficulties you must have faced doing your growing up on screen. keep it up! and i'm going now cos it sounds like i'm really kissing ass!
big love from a long time fan, jules x
Does anyone else think that the third from last paragraph sounds almost EXACTLY like the ending to Stand By Me?
I'm almost the same age as you are, and I'm lucky to have read this. It brings back memories of my own. I'm actually 27 and I can tell you as the years go by you pick up a great sense of being a parent and not a child anymore. While reading that I was reminded of my own memories of playing red rover red rover, and duck duck goose. All the silly games that as a child we took for granted, but as adults and onlookers of children we wish we could get back.
I'm reminded of what my grandfather said to me one day when I remarked that I wish I was older. He said to me 'Krissy, just enjoy your youth and never take advantage of it because when you're older you'll wish you were this age again and time doesn't turn back', I didn't understand what he meant then and those words hit like bricks now. Anyhow thanks Wil for the memories you brought back and for sharing yours. After all there is a little bit of a child left in all of us.
Wil- do you have to make me cry first thing in the morning? That was a really great entry, and I know exactly how you feel. While I don't have kids of my own, I remember those kinds of nights from when I was a kid. Life now makes me wish I were that young again. And, speaking as a vegan, I was happy to see that you were eating tofu! :)
Kevin said instead of calling it "safe", he called it "ghoul". My friends and I called it "home." Kevin, where did "ghoul" come from? Have a great day, everyone.
Charity said:"Does anyone else think that the third from last paragraph sounds almost EXACTLY like the ending to Stand By Me?
Yes. Either Wil was being clever and putting in an Allusion - or else he didn't realise it and really has turned into Richard Dreyfuss. :)
Oh, and Wil, will you please be *my* step-dad too?
Thank you for making me run back to my hide and seek years. Beautiful.
I suppose that I'm so used to dealing with people who are jaded with life and compliments that I shy away from doling them out as often as I would like. However, I thought you should know that from my limited perspective, you have a wonderful outlook on life and truly are a lucky man. You have a beautiful family...and you are well aware of it. The love that you all share is amazing. I know you'll treasure it always.
This is why I come to visit your site every day. Beautiful. I'm so going outside and playing hide and go seek with my son tonight.
Wow, Wil, that was beautiful. :)
And yes, when I read that paragraph I thought of Stand by Me, too! :)
You remind me of my husband in your attitude towards the kids. Mine are 2 1/2 years, and 4 1/2 months, both boys. I remember the glint in his eyes and the "wow" look on my oldest's face when daddy presented his old hot wheels collection to Joseph for his very own. He then proceeded to get down on the floor with him and crash into everything in site.
Are those car noises genetic to boys?
You're lucky to be a participant in such a loving family - and I'm happy for you.
Great story. It brought back many memories. Stand By Me was on Starz! last weekend and my wife and I watched the whole thing. What a great movie. My wife, who thinks I'm wacky for watching TNG and reading your site actually sat down and read your Blog.
She liked it and said she wouldn't make fun of it or me, again.
Rock on. Being a parent is the greatest thing in the world.
I'm an only child, but have two kids. I had a great moment last night when I heard how my 4-year-old daughter defended her 16-month-old brother. Another little girl was "being mean" and my girl said "Hey, be nice, he's only a baby ... and he's my brother."
*sighs and grins*
As a father of two boys myself, I have found that finding time to play is critically important. I don't care how busy you think you are, find more time to play with them. There are no do-overs in parenting. Waste a day and its gone forever.
Wil, keep those memories coming. My dad did a lot of things with me when I was a kid. He even took up downhill skiing when he was forty and I really appreciated it. Now it's my turn with my three year old, and I make time no matter what to be with her every day and have some fun. There is nothing like lighting up a child's face with happiness to make you realize just how precious family is. To rip off an aging tennis star's advertising line, "attitude is everything.", and Wil you have a great attitude and your step kids will remember it and take it with them into adulthood. One last quote from Dr. Who (Tom Baker) don't remember the episode, "What's the point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
And one final question Wil. How was the ALASKA CRUISE? I know, don't bug me, read the book.
Memories are always with you. Make sure to cherish every one of them. It sure sounds like you will... so I won't preach to the choir anymore. I just hope I can do those things when my nephew is old enough to play ball and hide and seek.
We just recently found out my wife is pregnant with our first child. I can't wait until we can play together. That is one of the things I am looking forward to most.
Damn now I wish I could play. Please remember to take the time to play with your kids. Life is busy sometimes, but the time to play is now. They will grow up soon enough.
*And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."*
Live life with as few regrets as you can.
Balance is the key.
Damn Wil, here at am at my Uni library, surrounded by people I don't know - and I'm choking trying to hold back the tears.
my dad never played with me :(
Your kids are very lucky, and I hope they know that.
You are a great man Wil.
It's great to let the kid inside loose for some childish fun & games. Just don't go chasing Anne with frogs ;)
I read your site and am often struck by the articulate and beautiful words I find here. But this was by far my favorite entry. I am finding your written work is, in my opinion, the best work you've done.
Those are the precious moments in life where you stop to reprioritize and regain sight of the most important things. Your family is very lucky.
Today's little story brought some tears to my eyes.
Geez, it's 6:30 am and I am sitting here all misty eyed.
I wanna play too!
This is why I need grandkids... but not too soon...
Awesome story Wil! Can't wait for the book! Your writing draws me in every time!
And Kevin - yes we called it "gools" too.
That was beautiful, thanks Wil. :)
Hiding with the boy I had a crush on - man, that really takes me back. For some reason I always found this incredibly romantic as a little girl, even though everything about it was platonic. Wow.
awesome entry! I think when we grow up we forget that the kids in our lives enjoy the games of hide-n-seek WAY more than the PS2 games they're given on every holiday. If they get a game of touch football with the family, they'll remember that long after Christmas!
Rock On Wil! You're an inspiration to me as a parent. I hope I inspire others as well. Pass it on,
Great story, Wil!
You sound like a great father... my father never did anything like that with me. He was always busy working, plus he was already in his 60s and ill when I was that age.
I don't usually comment, but I had to this time - awesome post.
Brought back wonderful memories of my childhood when my dad was able to play with us... whether it be the rare hide-and-go-seek in the dark or spontaneous wrestling.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I can't wait for your book!
AHH! The memories from the darkness..It reminds me of the good old days when all we had to worry about was going to school and our friends.Wil I am glad you are here on the same level with your readers sharing nostalgic memories from the past.Taking us there with you.I felt like I was with you and hiding..waiting for you to find me again...Thank you! It just goes to show that we are all making memories for every child in our life.I think that I will make more memories today with my daughter..we are gonna play with some playdoh and maybe blow a few bubbles..
It's great to have fun with kids, though it can be sad because it reminds me of when I was a kid. I miss being a kid! I am 32 now but my kids are older. I got married young so I have a 14 year old and a 12 year old. I look very young for my age so people often think my sons are my brothers. Fortunately they both seem to think I'm cool. I keep waiting for them to decide I'm uncool though. That will suck! :)
Oh! and two more words that bring back memories....ATARI.PACMAN. Awesome!
Great story, Wil. Giving the boys a moment like that will actually last a very long time. They never forget when you take the time to put aside boring chores to focus on them. When you make them feel special, you feel special, and it's just a very good for all involved.
Awesome entry! My parents didn't take time to play with us kids. It's so cool that I get to share playtime with my toddler. I can't wait for my 9 to 5 to finish for the day so I can spend the rest of the evening with my little guy.
That was an excellent story - it reminds me a bit of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Read it?
Sometimes you need a break from all the grown-up stuff...
I played hide and seek with Dad when I was seven and I was so good at hiding that he still hasn't found me to this day!
I loved it when my siblings and I used to play outside with my dad. :::sigh::: I miss that. I think I'm the only one right now who'd want to spend time with my dad like that. My sister and brother are sort of in that rebellious stage right now. Maybe I can suggest hide and seek this weekend...
I'm a parent of 2, a girl 4 1/2 and a boy 2 1/2. Every day that I come home at a reasonable hour, the first thing I do is get on the floor and play with my kids.
Apparently, I'm the other father in my wife's circle of friends who does anything like that. I love it and wouldn't miss it for the world. I love my kids and my only hope for them in this world is that they are happy.
Everything else is gravy.
Way to go, Wil!
I remember being a kid and just enjoying how great it was when Mum or Dad would just let it go and get out and play with the kids.
Being in my 30's now, I'm sure they ached the next day, and I'm sure it was just as special for them.
Having a kid now too, I know how important it is for me to keep that kind of play "special" -- I can't do it every day, or it would become commonplace, and the Atari (heh) would be the special thing.
Anything that can be special is somehow linked to a regret that there aren't more special times -- but the catch is, having more "special times" makes them less so. Hmm. Never thought of THAT before. Thanks Wil, for getting me thinking in that direction....more philosophy for me later.
Loved the post. Later.
Wil you ARE morphing into "the writer" in SBM..
But that's OK ..he was/is "one of the good guy's."
I wish I'd had a dad like you are to your son's.
You all are so lucky...
Thank you Wil!
That was EXACTLY what I needed just now... a moment savored in remembering how much i love my children is a wonderful gift to be had. I'm distraught in the fact that my step-dad was an evil and disdainful waste of skin and air. But it's hearing about moments like yours that make it all ok... The fact that there IS a man out there who would go out of his way to just be a kid and be WITH kids at the same time... It's a beautiful memory and a gift that you have given and received...
I hope you remember how important that simple hour or two was to them. Make it a point to let them know how happy you were that they let you play with them :)
I'm glad I wasn't the only one teary-eyed after reading this entry. I'm not a parent, but I used to teach 4th grade. I've hung out with some of my former students, but it's been awhile. Reading this made me realize that I need to stop making excuses about being too busy and invite them over to Ms. J's house for an afternoon of fun. They've been bugging me about it lately. I really want to read your book now, Wil!
i'm 29 and my sisters and i still call 'safe' a 'ghoul'... so you're not alone, kevin.
Time has a way of getting away from us but it is good to remember to always make time to play.
Like that one Paul Oakenfold song..
"Time of your life" =D
Excellent entry. Cant wait for the book to come out. I'm glad you are enjoying your step children, and having fun with them while you can. Don't let the relationship become like the song "Cats in the Cradle". It's happened with there Dad, don't let it happen to you. One final thought, whats up with the TOFU! Can you deal with the smell of it while you cook it?
Ouch...makes you remember it's important to not always respond with "I'm busy right now!" when your kid pops up under your nose with a request to play.
Thanks for the reality bite.
Stepdads are an interseting bunch.
My dad died when I was young, and my mom remarried a few years later. He turned out to be a complete jerk. They divorced 7 years later. After spending some time with a group of adults who were divorced or widowed, my Mom met another man. They dated for six years, before my Mom finally said yes to his marriage proposals. This Novemember they celebrate 17 years of married life. I love him, I respect him and he worships the ground my Mom walks on. He is a fine replacement for my late Father.
I hope Ryan and Nolan think of you that way, Wil. It's hard to accept for some children, especially if there is a divorce and not a death. But the fact that they liked having you play with them proves that you are not the evil stepfather some can be.
Enjoy your time with them, and they'll enjoy the time with you.
Peace and Hope
My father was more of the 'intellectual taskmaster' type, not the 'play with you' type. I think it had to do with his age... he was 31 when I was adopted. That said, there were a couple of times when we would play catch or whatnot in the back yard. There is NO substitute for memories like this. Thanks for writing this, Wil.
You know, entries like this inspire me to dredge up some of my own childhood memories. I have to admit I don't have many of them. I come from a family that didn't do the "remember when" thing much, so memories didn't get ingrained from re-tellings. My parents also weren't the physical types and our rented house had a yard as big as a one car garage. But I do remember playing cards with my parents, and Monopoly, Parcheesi and other board games.
I think there is something in actors that makes them reflective. Or there's something in reflective people that makes them want to be actors. As an actor, baring your soul is a job requirement. Maybe you spend more time thinking about your own life events and how they can help you bring more realism to a scene. Actors are story tellers and I'm glad you're able (and willing) to write down your stories for us to read.
Thanks for the tofu plug. More folks should try it. One of those good for you, good for the environment foods. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it. Curried tofu sounds great. I'm going to have to try making that. Maybe with grated carrots, tomatoes and some snow peas. I like my tofu best cold with soy sauce and grated ginger.
Oh, and gee, Wil. What are you doing posting at 2:34 am? If you're actually writing this great stuff so late, that's amazing.
thats coo dude, playing with your kids is good... my dad died when i was 1 year old, so i dont know what its like to have a dad..
That was a great story Wil. I would like to say that it reminded me of my childhood but mine sucked. I had a military dad and got up every day doing situps and pushups and ironing my clothes for school. There was never any fun in mine. I am glad you are making fun time in your stepkids lives. It really is so important. Well I'm going to go now, your post made me feel happy and angry at the same time because it brought up so many memories from my lousy ass, shity childhood so......It is not your posts fault I just got a lot of issues with my horrible, shitty, piece of crap, childhood. (Oh yeah, I go to therapy..lol)
Best to you and your family......
That is so sweet I think I'm going to barf curry tofu.
I've gotta ask... and how burnt was supper?
Ah, well. I screwed that up.
Heres the pithy comment I was going to make.
But what about the tofu? Won't someone think about juicy morsels of curry flavored tofu burning in the frying pan?
Oh the humanity, the horror, the soy!
(Put down the flame-throwers, this is humor)\
Ghost runners...yeah, those helped, especially when playing one on one
And "Safe", see, it was smart to designate "Safe" before you started playing, yeah, cause if you do it during...nope, just gets really really confusing...
And Dads, Dads are cool...well, as long as they know when not to embarass the kid... :-)
That brought back memories! Our whole neighborhood getting together (about a dozen of us). We would play hide & seek w/ the neighbor's talented dog. Everyone had a dog snack in their pocket & would go & hide. The dog would come & find us!!! What a scare when you're 8 having a dog "hunt" you down for the treat!
All those childhood games, do kids even play them anymore? They should, I know mine will.
PROBABLY MY MOST FAVORITE READ FROM YOU WIL!!
I cant wait for your book. I for one am not a big reader, but i get so wrapped up in what you write because its so real. You can read how much heart is put into it and you really can feel what your feeling. I LOVE THAT. If there were more books out there like that, i dont think i could put them down.
LOL, as good as the story was the whole
I was waiting for the fire truck to arrive
for the burnt dinner:)
Oh the tofu!
Wil, this was so cute! : ) I read it twice and both times I had a smile on my face. You are a good step-dad. I can't wait for the book!
Your post made me think (again) of how much I want to be a dad.
I respect your wisdom in appreciating what you've got.
My dad was the pastor at one of the local churches and every once in a while he'd take us over to the church with friends or cousins and we'd play hide and seek in the church. (The sanctuary was always off limits though) Great memories of that. Thanks for triggering it!
Two weeks ago I got to play hide and seek and tag and duck duck goose for the first time in many years with some of the neighborhood kids.
Sinse I don't have kids myself I get some funny
looks, but it was great, in a way you've captured nicely. Mmmmm curried tofu.
Those moments are all too rare. Glad you fully enjoyed it.
I am soooo jealous, my dad never used to play with me and my brother and sisters. He was too busy at 'work', yeah right, if you can call a blonde waitress 'work'.
Glad to hear you have the time Wil, don't ever neglect your kids-but I'm sure, from reading this article, that you never will.
Glad to hear your stopping to smell the flowers and enjoy life. Even in the busiest and most hectic of times, it's important to stop, and truly experience LIFE.
Rock on Wil. Good to know that the "I" inside is enjoying himself.
Everytime I played hide-n-seek I always had to pee.
Awsome. It is nice to be able to return to our childhood and revisit the good times. It is great that you have children to share that with and are able to really enjoy it!
That was amazing to read wil! It reminds me of how I wished my childhood could have been. I was an only child in a military family so I never had friends for long cause we moved so much. Now that I'm a parent I'm grateful that I can spend time with my two little girls and play games with them. I sincerely hope that I can continue to play games with them as the grow. Well, keep up the good daddy side and you'll have your place in their hearts and memories forever!
damn that was beautiful......
there's just something exhilerating and magical about hide and seek...
and the way you wrote it made me remember playing it back in the countryside i grew up in...(Peterborough Ontario...)
is it me, or has this site been progressively getting more and more addictive over the last year or so...
everytime i read a story like this, i'm amazed, and begin anticipating the next one...
there's only about 2 or 3 sites i check every day on the web..
and this one is numero uno.
Maybe it's because i'm a parent too, i don't know; but you're writing never resonates so deeply as when you're writing about your family.
Hugs From Histy.
Reading this recent article made me realize something. That the simple way of life isn't gone completely. Sure, a lot of times in today's world, we are too busy in things to stop and have any fun. It's what we do with those times that we can. Most of us just try to find more work to do. But, the simple life is sometimes the best....when there are no expectations and deadlines to worry about. When we can just be like we were so many years ago. I myself find myself caught up like that now....just getting out of college and trying hard to find work in my field. But reading this made me realize that during the course of working through college and now in trying to find a job, I'm missing out on the simplest things in life. I'm not sure when it happened actually, but I grew up, to my horror. So, I thank you for writing such a thought-provoking editorial that made us all go back to the simple things and become kids in our hearts all over again.
Ok, I give up. What does the title have to with the story? I can't match the lyrics running through my head with wiffle ball and hide-and-seek. "The People's Republic of Choclatey-o-licious...the five percent nation of Casiotone."
"Curried tofu with rice dish." YUCK! I guess that's California cuisine. Tonight, we're having meatloaf, instant mashed potatoes and green beans cooked in a little bit of olive oil with a little bit of garlic. Much more traditional, huh?
Ah, the good ol' days when you could play hide and seek at night and just be young and free. Boy, that was fun. I miss those days! :)
Wil that was beautiful! :)
the twelve year old part reminds me of Stand by me- I never had any friends later on like the ones i had when i was twelve, Jesus does anyone? that was a great part! speaking of Stand by me im reading "The Body" the book the movie is based on its really good but not as great as the movie!
I won't mention how beautiful that post was, because it's been said. I just wanted to give you kudos on the Ataris t-shirt. It's so amazing that I 'know' a celebrity, and he likes the same bands I do. Come see them in Chicago on Nov. 8! Hah, you're probably way too busy. Thanks for the great story!
Second post. I made a comment above about the dinner, among other things. Hey Wil, I'm curious, what kind of food do you and your family eat more of: "curried tofu with rice dish" or "meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans?"
"safe" => "goal" => "gool" => "ghoul"
yeah, my friends and I called it that too. is this a midwestern thing? :-O
I'll chime in, too. Sitting here in the cold computer room, letting a little tear well up; then another; then another; as I remember my own childhood; and as I remember the kids that I've been blessed to play with. Not my own, but every bit as loved as if they had been.
I'm from the Midwest, and we called it "base".
Nice story Wil.
I just read this story out loud to my daughter. Your writing is just simply growing by leaps and bounds. This particular story touched me deeply as it did for my daughter.
I usually have difficulty with step-parents referring to themselves as 'parents' -- but as I've aged, I've learned that a parent is more than blood or the mere sp*rm that aided the pregnancy/birth -- a parent is one who feels the gap/void in a child's life with that incredible thing; love. And a true love at that.
Wil, as a religious reader of WWDN for years, I have witnessed so much growth in you as a young man, an artist, a comic, a geek, a husband/lover/friend to Anne and more importantly, Nolan and Ryan's dad. Knowing nothing re: their biological dad (none of my business either) except the few comments you've made here and there, I do recognize that yours' is a role that they desperately need and appreciate. Even if they don't always show it. That's just kids. I believe they'd be lost without you, nevertheless.
I've been raising my little girl all her life alone for the most part. And yet not alone at all. My wife has been a part of me and my daughter's life now since my daughter was a toddler. And even though my wife is NOT her biological mother, my daughter sees her as a mother more than a step-mother. And mostly because she (my wife) knew how to love and treat my baby from the beginning.
Wil, please never ever feel that you're on the wrong track when regarding your boys. Because you never could be. You love one another too much. They are truly blessed to have you as their dad as you (obviously) know that you are blessed to have them as your sons.
Now go and be good monkeys together!
yeah i am 22 and I love playing night-tag! go wil, you rule!
Wow, that was absolutely beautiful. I'm sitting here in the computer lab at my school trying to stop the tears that are welling up in my eyes from falling down my face. Thank you so much Wil for sharing your life with us. You are remarkable!
Just a test comment to see if it takes. Nice entry, Wil! Will we see you out East on a book tour soon? Karen
Reading your page usually makes me smile. Some I even chuckle. The last two entries made me chuckle through my smiles the whole way through.
I love reading about when you enjoy being you, and enjoy your family.
I love reading about the recognition and support you recieve from fans.
I love reading your stories about growing up.
I love feeling like I identify with you.
Now sign my guestbook you bastard!
I'll try it again, Wil per your suggestion. Thanks again, and keep writing! Karen
That was so cool, I'm glad that your are able to connect with your kids like that!! SO few people can, or even try to. Way to go!
I actually have been thinking alot lately about my life growing up. Since my mother passed away this summer I find that I have been spesking with my older sister a lot more than I had been. We had a wonderful converation the other week about her daughter going to dance class and my nephew bowling at the old neighborhood alley that we went to as kids. It's like they are living our lives again.
This weekend my best friend since grade school is getting married and I am flying home for the ceremony. I will be home on Saturday morning and the only thing that I want to do is take my niece to dance class and then head over to the bowling alley for burgers and milkshakes.
Thank you for sharing this with us. It brought back a lot of long forgotten memories of hiding within the low branches of the enourmous pine tree and playing tag in the field behind the house.
I can't wait for the book.
I don't leave a lot of comments, I don't really see the point, but I just thought I'd say that of all your posts in recent weeks, this one touched me quite deeply. You're a lucky man, that you have that opportunity, however brief, to revisit childhood. Too many adults forget what it means to be a kid. May you forever be so blessed.
If you are not careful they will turn you into the next action hero.
My husband's parents were killed when he was 12. Play time stopped for him. We don't have any kids, but 3 great nephews, and he dosen't miss any chance he gets to spend time with them, playing cars, baseball, fishing or introducing them to black and white King Kong movies. Always make time to play.
We called it "Home"
k, so everyone's saying it's a beautiful, warm, fuzzy entry...
Yeah, I guess it is.
Wil et al.,
I purchased Timothy Ferris' new book today, "Seeing in the Dark", and there's a wonderful passage in there about his father. He talks about how he and his buddies got part-time jobs on Saturdays and Sundays when they were 12. One day, his father pulled up in a car with the back seat jammed full of balls and other fun stuff, and told them that if they only worked one day on the weekend, he'd pay them the money they were losing. He was concerned they weren't having a childhood, and figured school was their work. It's a very cool passage, and I encourage everyone to have a look at this book.
Dude: serious. Syndicate this weekly. Forget about TV, Movies, etc. You're a writer. Wake up.
that is so sweet! you are a really nice guy, wil wheaton
Who said time travel isn't possible. For me, your thoughts made me remember how much hope I had as a child. How I looked so forward to what was next. Whether it was my birthday or Christmas or the next time I would see my friends.
Eventhough those times have long past they live so fresh in my mind. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to rekindle the kid inside.
*Wipes away a tear*
Wil, it's been said before but you rock!
I am eagerly awaiting your book.
Children can preserve the nature of Mankind, I just hope for Peace, War these days are becoming more profitable. It would take a Genuis to make Peace more profitable than War. Are your kids genuises?
WOW, that is why i love reading your blogs
That was really, really sweet. You probably know this already, but you have a very nice way with words.
sidebar note to "Fabian"..Wil IS ALREADY a
Will, is this really you? When did you get to be old enough to be a dad let alone be married. This is my first time on this website and I find that you must be getting old, not me! It's really great that you enjoy your children and make time for them. So many parents are busy that their prorities are messed up. Good luck.
Even though I know you are Wil Wheaton and actually have a voice to put to the name - while reading this particular entry internally you sounded like Daniel Stern.
one time i kilt=a retareded guy in teh coffee
have one=thanks old boy
Well..just as everyone else has said, this post was beautiful, and brought back memories for myself as well. We used to call it 'home', and all the neighborhood kids would play. There was also this football player guy who lived up the street, Tim Cowens was his name. He played on our local CFL Team, the BC Lions. He would come out and play with us all the time. He was the coolest adult we knew.
My father was always working too much to ever take the time to play with me, and I had no siblings, so I played alone alot. But my father always took the time to teach me things, even if he couldn't play. I appreciated any time he was able to take with me. And Wil, I'm sure Ryan and Nolan appreciate your time as well. To children, and hour can seem an eternity, even though to us as adults, it's a flash in the pan.
In closing, take the time. It's worth it, and remembered forever.
"When a man returns to his boyhood home, it is not the home he is looking for, it is his boyhood."
Its stories like this that keep me coming back to this website. For me, the childhood game was Kick-the-can. The neighbors fell asleep by 8 p.m. so they really did not mind all the noise in the street. I really miss summer days in my hometown playing with my childhood friends and my Dad. Gee...being away at school makes me so nostalgic!
i really love when you write about the kids. your love shines through in every word. you're both very lucky!
I changed the title of this entry from "Five Percent Nation," which was a reference to Soul Coughing, because I was just informed that "Five Percent Nation" is also the name of a very violent group of activists.
That just isn't cool.
Never forget moments like this my friend... Someday, there will come a time when your children are grown, and have families of their own. You'll sit in your favorite chair, and you'll look around your house...your empty house...and you'll remember the nights, when your children were more than just children...they were your best friends...
Violence sucks, Wil.
By the way, if it makes you feel better about the gay Starfleet mess dress uniform... I'm joining the Air Force very very soon, and I'm going to be required to wear a dress uniform that looks JUST like that.
I think what is really interesting is that one of the main roles you are known for is the role of the boy who grows to be the writer, who is the main narrative voice in STAND BY ME (Stephen King's THE BODY), and when you started really getting into your writing here on your site, it's that same voice you immediately tapped into...the real voice of remembering, the one that is filled with all the magic. I've seen a lot of people strive for that voice but get lost in psychoanalysis. This entry more than the others definately taps right back into that. How long has it been since you've gone back and watched that movie? *grin*
Wil, you constantly take me by surprise with your great writing and refreshing outlook on life. This is why I visit your site. This is why I miss it when I skip a day.
If your book is as good as this simple yet poignant remembrance of childhood, you've already sold a copy.
And thank you for taking the time to share this with us.
Re. Five Percent Solution.
Well, I seldom understand your titles, anyway. Today I was reading a chapter of Salman Rushdie's "Step across this line", and he has a chapter in there called "Resevoir Frogs" on the current penchant for meaningless titles. I prefer to think it's that (your problem), rather than my lack of cool.
Make that "my *tremendous* lack of cool"
Monday night in Times Square, "Bowling for Columbine" had its premiere. The crowd was amazing, as it was this past Saturday night at the Chicago Film Festival. The audience kept laughing or hooting or applauding so loud throughout the film that it was hard to hear the next line.
The hate mail, the threats, the promises of retribution have already started to roll in to the distributor of this movie, United Artists. They are not backing down. But how long will this last? I need all of you in the New York tri-state and southern California areas to go see "Bowling for Columbine" THIS weekend -- the rest of you can see it in a couple of weeks when it comes to your town. A strong opening not only means that the rest of America will see this film, it means that a good number of people who see it are going to leave the film angry enough to get active and get involved. If it does poorly, I will have a difficult time finding the funding for the movie I want to make next -- a film about 9/11 and how Bush is using that tragic day as a cover for his right-wing agenda.
Don't let that happen. Don't let the NRA have one more success by stopping the wider distribution of this movie. And, together, let us not remain silent in our opposition to Bush's phony war against Iraq.
If you live in New York, you can see it at the Lincoln Plaza, the Sunshine and the Loews 19th St. In L.A., you can catch it at the Sunset 5, the Westwood Regent, Laemmle Sunset, Laemmle Towncenter (Encino), Landmark Rialto (Pasadena), and Regal University (Irvine). Also, please forward this to your other friends and tell them to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this weekend.
wil wheatons writtings are equivilant to the family circus. not bad just obvious
Wil, equisite. (sp?)
tofu and wiffle balls, such is the burbs.
There's an older (new) country song that reminds me of you. It's called, "He didn't have to be" by Brad Paisley. It's about a boy talking about his step-father; how he came into his life and how he was the father he'd always needed, even though he didn't have to be. It's a beautiful song. Every time I read the wonderful things you say about your sons, I'm reminded of that song. It makes me all mushy. :) Thanks for being a good dad. You rock!
Gee - that brings back so many memories. I was an only child, so I mostly played hide & seek with my parents...and my beloved cat. The cat, it turns out, was always the one to find me where I was hiding - making it awfully easy for the "it" person to track me down....aaahhh....those were the days.
I hope you get more time to be lucky and play with the boys...
Why did you change the name from 5% Nation to If you're not ready, holler "Aye!" ?
dude, you rock!
i'll admit when i first read about you as a writer i thought "Wil Wheaton? a writer?" but now i am convinced. its easy to simply type words to convey any experience, but its much harder to express the emotions of that experience in such a way that it connects so easily with the audience...especially when those words do not seem contrived. it seems your words caused many of us to take a small break from real life and look back ourselves...thanks, i needed that... :-)
The older I've grown, the more I've come to believe that "being a kid again" is a key to happiness and well-being. Too many people I know spend their time doing what they're supposed to do, plodding through life like robots, minds glued to the idiot box. It is tremendous fun to let loose, to forget how you're supposed to act, and just to behave like a child with children, whether they're two-years-old, five-years-old, or twelve-years-old.
wil, this is sort of related to your entry, but I was wondering if maybe you could do an entry on your opinions on the case of the King brothers from Pensacola. You have two boys who are close to that age, and I was just wondering what your thoughts were. Maybe, though your website, some more attention can be generated. Thnx
I always planned on being the "cool mom" in the neighborhood, playing with my kids and their friends and still having time to bake cookies. :) I hope I don't forget that as my baby boy grows up. It's been ages since I played hide-and-seek.
You're a good dad.
Let me be the 140th person to say
That was good.
Wil, you rock.
dude, what's up with the change of title?
Longtime/firstime and all...
Just here to echo most of the comments. That was beautiful, man. Really.
Of course, the original 5% title sent you soaring from "pretty cool" to "totally cool" in my book. Soul Coughing ROX!
I understand the decision to change it, however. And you get extra points for changing a Soul Coughing reference to a Schoolhouse Rock reference!
So, when does that book come out?
You really are Gordie Lanchance!!!!
Beautifully put -- your blog has been a joy for me to read for a while now.
I'm also finishing a book (due soon, or my editor will show up on my doorstep, and we all know what that means...) and know how precious time off to "play" right now means.
I'm so glad you were able to take the time for some childhood.
OMFG! Wil Wheaton I felt like I was there, a ghost in the darkness watching you play hide and seek. When the time came to stop imagining, i was pulled back to my reaity of, like yours, adultness (is that a word?). To be taken back to when you (I) was a child, was great. Keep it up Wil, you make a lot of peoples days worth while with your writing. Makes helluva change from all the bad shit we have to see and read about :)
ok, whoever says any bad stuff about wils wife, ur full of poo. She's lovely lookin!
Oh, and so is wil... ;P
Im gonna sing everyone a song look fimiliar to ya?
I am sixteen going seventeen
I know that I'm naive
Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet
And willingly I believe
I am sixteen going seventeen
Innocent as a rose
Bachelor dandies, drinkers of brandies
What do I know of those?
Totally unprepared am I to face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my ken
I need someone older and wiser
Telling me what to do,
You are seventeen going on eighteen
I'll depend on you!
days like that are not only great memories for you...they'll also end up in your kids book of dreams...and they may write someday of this faraway time...or remember it with fondness.
I just wanted to say to Kevin, we called the safe ghoul. Maybe it is a geographical thing? I grew up in the northeast (US). Although, I was playing with my son and some other children we befriended at the local park about a week ago and when I mentioned to them that as a child we called it ghoul they looked at me like I had three heads and then talked to my son about how old his mom is. Ahhh, the days when you use to think someone that is 26 is ancient!
it was always "ghost man" in my part of southern illinois...does anybody remember "indian ball"?
Sounds like you had a lot of fun playing with the little ones. I wish I were that lucky, but my cousins are a bit too young for baseball. Bummer!
Anyway, have a great day!
Big hugs from Heather
That's such a beautiful and touching entry, Wil.
I used to play football with my dad and cousins and your words summoned many fond memories for me. Trust me... I think Ryan is lucky, too. :) One day he may look back and think about you as well.
This is the first time I read your blog. I think I will continue to drop by.
You seem like an awesome stepdad' Some kids fathers (like mine) are never around to give pep talks to there children, or even to play ball with' Its great that you are able to spend time with your kids! :)
P.S. There is another fansite out there for you!!! I happen to be a fan of yours, for a very long time.. The site is new- its my tribute to you!! http://wilwheaton.topcities.com/ it will have a bio, pics, filmography and more! Please bare with me fans! Thanks! :) Wil is Great!
Play fast and play hard... now.
You can never know how hard it is to grow up without that, if you haven't.
Please visit "Forever Wil Wheaton" a website for wil! Ctrl+D to book mark, Im working on it! :)
The more you live with them now... the more you will have to write about later.
You are only 30.
You live the book. After you live it, the stories remain in your head or on various sheets of scratch paper. Once that book is written it is there. Done. It can be revised, updated and rewritten.
Books are timeless.
Children are not.
Uh. is it just me, or did that last post used to have a different title? I think I'm goin crazy,
You're both lucky. He's lucky to have you, and everything else, and you're lucky to have him, and everything else. You're both lucky to have had the experience, and with an experience like that... well...
I'm glad that it was like that, as cryptic as that is...
Dear Wil Wheaton,
If i ever have a child, i will name him Wil or Liam. I can't remember my dad playing with me like that. Maybe i never gave him a chance to play with me. I don't know. Note to self: I MUST play with my kids ;) You're a great father.
I don't even remember how I found this site but I'm glad I did. I've read it for the last three or four months. Wil's a good guy. I Live In O.C. I think he lives in Pasadena? Seems like a guy with a sense of humor, likes good books...feh-good article, Willy Wil...keep it up, punk.
i found your site through the anticoulter.com site. nerf herder, ozma, lotr? this is the best thing i've ever found at four in the morning.
Normaly I just lurk here, but I gotta say Wil, you really moved me with this one.
Brought back memories of playing hide & seek with friends as a kid. Good times.
Your last posting on OCTOBER 9th was excellent. But like a addict, I need more. 5 days...no new posting on wilwheaton.net...getting shaky. 2nd revisit and no new Content, CONTENT, CONTENT...
Please help, anything, throw us a link. Feeling dizzy...
You certainly have a gift Wil.
The last person who's writing stirred my emotions was that of J K Rowling, hmm yeah the Harry Potter woman, Maybe i'm just a sucker for a happy ending.
I do miss being a child, being a grown-up sure does suck sometimes...especially when you can't blame the kid down the street that no-one likes for your problems. Oh well such is life.
I have been out of this for awhile so I'm a little lost about the book thing.
You're writing a book, Wil?
I wanna do that before I die. So what's the theme or whatnot of the book, I just want some general info.
BTW, I saw the episode of The Outer Limits you were on this weekend. Cool stuff!
I've been reading your website for more than a year, but this is the first time I've actually written. By the way, this definitely reminds me of Stand By Me. After I finished reading, all I could hear was "Yeah, he gets like that when he's writing."
Seriously though, it's great that you play with the kids. I'm only an aunt at the moment, but playing with those kids is the most important part of their day. Besides, it keeps us young too. Who wouldn't want to take one hour out of their day to have a little fun? Keep it up.
7 days and no new posting? I am way bummed. As you know, the BLOG readers drug of choice is new web content. Don't make me abandon you for Andrew Abb on GMTPLUS9 - it's geeky/artsy but less personal. Time to share more...let's get a move on.
Holy cow, when did Wil Wheaton begin to remind me so much of Stephan King? Cheers to you and your talent. The same thoughts that have gone through my mind so many times...the moments when you can relate to a book more then you can to anything else at that moment...that's how your stories have been grabbing me. They were wonderful.
Damnit! Make me tear up first thing in the morning, why doncha.
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