Disclaimer: I do not own the Ducks.
The Best Day of my Life
"With the first pick of the 2004 NHL Draft, the Minnesota Wild selects Adam Banks from Harvard University," the commissioner announced and I rose from my seat. Despite the fact that the deal to make me the number one pick had been completed a week ago, I still had a hard time believing it was reality. I hugged my mom tightly and kissed my wife before heading up on stage.
"Congratulations Adam," the commissioner told me as we shook hands and he handed me a Wild jersey. We smiled and posed for the camera before he personally led me back to the interview room.
I sat through the long interview process, answering question after question. How long did it take for the deal to go down? How does it feel to be playing for the hometown team? Were you relieved when you heard your name being called? Have you let everything sink in yet? The questions kept coming and I answered them the best I could, but really, all I wanted to do was go out and celebrate with my lovely wife.
After what seemed like forever I was finally released from the room, a free man at last. I was more than excited to see my parents standing outside the door with Julie next to them.
"Good job Son," Dad hugged me. "I'm so proud of you."
I smiled. After twenty-two long years, I had finally made my father proud of me. Now if I can only keep him that way. "Thanks Dad."
"I can't believe my little baby is so grownup," Mom pinched my cheeks and hugged me again. "I love you so much."
"I love you too Mom," I pulled away and grabbed Julie's hand. "And I defiantly love you." I kissed Julie's cheek and the four of us started down the hall together.
We reached the outside and my parents turned to Julie and me. "Your mother and I are going to head back to the hotel," Dad explained to us.
"We know the two of you want to go out and celebrate," Mom told us.
"We'll stop by in the morning before we leave for the airport," Dad told us and he and Mom climbed into their expensive rental car.
Julie and I watched them leave before getting into our own rental. "Are you ready to celebrate?" I asked.
"Yeah," Julie answered. "We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for."
"I know that's why I made reservations at Chantel's." I told her.
We arrived at the restaurant a few minutes later and were escorted back to our private table. "May I offer you our fine wine menu?" The waiter asked.
"No, thank you," Julie answered quickly.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Well I don't want any wine, but you go ahead and get it if you want some."
"No thanks," I told the waiter before turning to Julie. "What are you having?"
"I'll take the grilled chicken and the house salad," Julie told the waiter.
"I'll have the same," I told the waiter. He took our menus and headed into the kitchen. "Are you okay?" I asked Julie.
"Yeah," Julie answered. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"You've been acting strange today," I answered.
"You didn't want wine and I thought you hated grilled chicken." I told her.
"I'm just trying to eat and live healthier, that's all." Julie told me as our food arrived at the table.
"Okay," I dropped the subject even though I didn't totally by what she was telling me. If she wanted me to know, she'll tell me on her own time. "Today has been the best day of my life," I changed the subject away from her peculiar behavior.
"The best day?" Julie raised her eyebrow at me. "What about the day we got married?"
"Okay," I conceded. "Today had been the second best day of my life. I just wasn't sure if today would ever come."
"I knew that it would," Julie smiled at me. "You were destined for this."
"And did you see the look on my dad's face when my name was called. I finally made him proud of me."
"He should be proud. I know I am," Julie told me.
"You know," I began. "By percentages, Minnesota had the worst goaltending in the NHL last year."
"Adam, we've talked about this." Julie told me. "We talked about this when I decided not to enter my name in the draft."
"You said that was so that we could stay together and not be drafted to different cities." I reminded her. "With Minnesota we can stay together as you could come on as a free agent. It's perfect."
"It's not perfect Adam. It's not what I want," Julie explained. "I want to go to law school."
"You could always do both," I suggested.
"No, I couldn't," Julie argued.
"Sure you could. I'm sure a lot of players take college classes while they play," I told her. "You can do anything you set your mind to."
"No Adam, I can't. I really can't," Julie sighed. "My hockey playing days are over, and surprisingly, I'm okay with that."
understand. I thought it was your dream to play in the NHL and the
Olympics." I was confused. When did those dreams change and why
didn't she tell me?
"It was, but now I have other priorities; more important ones." She took a deep breath. "Honey, we're going to have a baby."
My mind stopped. We were going to have a baby? "You mean like, nine months from now?"
"More like seven months actually. At least that is what the doctor said," Julie looked me in the eyes. "Are you angry?"
"Of course I'm not angry," I smiled making my way over to her side of the table. "How could I be? You're having my baby. That's a miracle." I pulled her into my arms and kissed her passionately. "Is this why you're trying to be healthier?"
"I have to do what is best for our baby," Julie answered pulling away.
"How long have you known about this?" I asked, placing my hand on her stomach and feeling the small bump. I still couldn't comprehend the fact that our baby was in there.
"A couple of weeks," she told me. "I was going to wait until our anniversary to tell you the news, but you were being so persistent about me playing. I just couldn't hold it in any longer."
"I didn't mean to push you," I apologized. "I'm glad you told me though."
"Me too," Julie smiled.
"You know, I was right the first time," I told her.
"I just found out that I'm going to be a father," I kissed her once more. "Today really is the best day of my life."