I was a nerd. Straight A’s and if I got anything less I actually argued with the teacher, explaining to them how they were wrong, if they were. I read books, and more books, and played D&D, and got picked on…stuffed in lockers…I cried a lot…I quit baseball…the abuse continued for a year. I came back the next year taller. I learned how to swear, to dress cool and…survive. But that first year at junior high forged me, for worse but ultimately better, shaping who I would become. But if I could have been spared such suffering, ohhhh. As a (future) parent, I’d want to show this to my child. As a child, I wish I’d seen this.
“That was my daughter. She and the girl that bullied her are cool with each other this year. They aren’t in the same class, though. This year has been a good year, but she noticed another little girl in her class kept getting picked on by the other students. She became this girl’s friend and stands up for her when the other kids are being mean. We’ve talked about this moment a lot. After this panel, she paid to get her picture taken with Wil. He actually hugged her!
Edit: Thanks for the gold, awesome stranger! I will pay it all forward to my daughter somehow.
Edit: Here’s the picture of them together. In the first picture, he’s signing it for her at Planet Comic-Con a couple weeks ago. She was so nervous and afraid he wouldn’t remember her.
Edit: For anyone wondering why she had a pay for a picture with him, it’s just the way these conventions work. It didn’t phase us in the slightest. We didn’t feel entitled to anything. We love his work on Tabletop, and he’s opened the door to a whole new world of tabletop games for our family. We’ve been having more family game nights and involving our kids’ friends as much as we can. If anything, it was a small way to pay him back for this. International Tabletop Day is next Saturday, and she’s hoping to spend the whole day gaming with her friends.”
And: “That was my daughter that asked that question. This was a magical moment for the whole family. What you might not get from the sound of all the applause is that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after this. Mia met Wil again briefly at the Kansas city con this year, and he was as gracious and cool as you could have hoped. They talked about minecraft, ballet, mistakes, and silliness. Wil Wheaton, you are an honorary member of this family and I hope you know that you have made a real impact on Mia and the rest of us silly nerds. I wish you nothing but the greatest success. Oh yeah we love Tabletop too.”
Wonderfully relephant bonus: