Most boys have a dream to meet their sports idol. They envision seeing them and hanging out with them and even becoming their friend. I did it when I was a kid and I'm sure that most people did when they were younger also. But most of us don't get to see that dream come true. Luckily for my son Dillon, in that regard, he's one of the lucky ones.
My son is a huge hockey fan so I wasn't surprised at all that he wanted to meet Wayne Gretzky. I'm just surprised at how great the day turned out and how much fun we all had. My favorite moment of the day had to be watching Dillon get dressed with Gretzky to go out on the ice. It was like they were getting ready for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Watching those two in the locker room talking about hockey as they got ready to skate and perform some drills was great. Here was my son sitting with the greatest player in NHL history and he's just having a good time talking about hockey like he was just another guy. I wish every parent has a moment similar to that.
Gretzky truly was The Great One with my son on and off the ice. He signed all of Dillon's memorabilia, gave him a full Coyotes uniform that he later signed and gave him time. It would've been easy for him to just meet with my son and leave after 20 minutes, but he made sure to spend real time with my son and was completely genuine with him. I'll never forget that about Gretzky. The greatest gift he gave my son though was his friendship. Dillon and Wayne still keep in touch through text messaging and talk all the time.
Can you believe that my son has Wayne Gretzky's number on his cell phone? That's just amazing!
My son's wish was just to meet Gretzky and in addition to meeting him he got a great friend.
Editor's note: You can send your well wishes to Paul DeStefano by clicking here.
If you want to know more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation or donate to the cause click here.