Christmas and the Magic PJs
By Little Matt
It was the first day of a long Christmas break. I was going to get three glorious weeks off. This was the result of some labor dispute the teachers at my school were having. It meant that the school year would have to run long into the summer. But I didn’t care about that, at twelve years old that was too far into the future to consider. What mattered was enjoying my vacation now. It was important though, I thought, to not betray any excitement about Christmas. I was almost a teenager after all and I was very proud of what I considered to be my near adult status.
My mom and I were spending the holiday with my Aunt Linda and her daughter Sarah. Aunt Linda had hit the jackpot with some wise investments many years earlier, she was able live a fairly comfortable lifestyle without a day-to-day job. But she found it worth her while to baby-sit for some extra cash from time to time. She specialized in long term child-care, watching after kids while their parents took trips. Sarah, who was a few years older than me, would pitch in and together they would bring in enough money fill in the gaps.
The car rolled up the long drive way to the front of the large house. Linda and Sarah greeted us and we were shown to the rooms would be staying in. There were enough rooms to allow us both to have our own. Afterwards we all sat in the living room and talked. The conversation turned to Aunt Linda’s baby-sitting business. “You know” she said “we’d be happy to take care of Jason for free if you ever needed it.” I blushed at the offer. I knew about Aunt Linda’s philosophy on boys and how she thought they matured much more slowly than girls. When she looked at me she didn’t see a young adult, but a small child who needed looking after.
After we’d had dinner and some dessert Aunt Linda announced that she had a surprise for me, a gift that couldn’t wait for Christmas to be opened. I braced myself. Her philosophy had led her to give me a string of gifts that were inappropriate for my age, and I had no doubt that this gift would be any different. The box was set before me and hesitantly began to unwrap it. Inside were some PJs. That would have been bad enough as I’d decided I was old enough to just wear sweats and a T-shirt to bed. But these were decorated with cartoon spaceships. I mustered enough gratitude to thank her. I figured it could have been worse, even if I had to wear them no friend would ever have to see me in them. I started to set the box aside but my Aunt quickly spoke up. “Pull them out of the box, you haven’t seen everything yet.”
I removed them from the box and my heart sank. These weren’t just normal PJs, but one-piece footed sleepers. And beneath the first pair were two others. “Now do you see why I wanted you to open that tonight?” She asked rhetorically “This house can get very cold at night, now you can stay warm.”
I’d have to wear these things that very night, I struggled to contain a moan. “Those are adorable Linda” my mom said “I’m sure Jason will be very happy to wear them tonight.” Knowing I was doomed to sleep in footed PJs for the rest of my stay I muttered one more thanks and tried to get my mind off the issue.
A few hours later my mom declared that it was time for me to go bed. I tried to whine that it was too early, but she cut more short explaining that it had been a long day and we were getting up early in the morning. “Now pick out which pair of PJs you want to wear” she said.
I looked at my new pajamas and gulped. Besides the one with spaceships there was one with dinosaurs and one with cowboys. Each was blue and decidedly juvenile. Mom saw I was having trouble deciding so she selected the cowboy pair. “I think these are cute” she said as she handed them to me. “Get them on them you can back downstairs and watch some TV for a while.” I took them and headed up stairs.
Closer inspection revealed that the zipper was in the back. I wondered how I’d ever get them on. As I stepped into them a felt a slight shock followed by an odd tingling sensation, I dismissed it as static and attempted to finish putting the thing on. I got the zipper about halfway up before I could no longer reach it. I struggled for a moment before my mom came in. “What’s taking you so long?” she asked.
“I can’t get this zipper” I answered. She quickly reached behind me and finished zipping me into my sleeper, again I felt a small shock. “Now” she said “I know you think you’re to old to wear this. But I think you’ve been getting a little bit ahead of your self. There a few things that are change when we get home. Now lets get downstairs.”
I followed her down the stairs and into the family room where my Aunt and Sarah were sitting watching TV. After I sat down she ducked into the kitchen and came out with a glass of milk. “Here honey why don’t you have a drink” she said. Aunt Linda began to speak up but mom immediately knew what she was going to say. “Don’t worry” mom said “he hasn’t wet the bed in years.” I blushed a bit at having my toileting discussed so openly, even if it was to deny bedwetting.
“Oh that’s fine then. I’m just worried because he’ll be sleeping on a new mattress.”
Sitting in my footed PJs and drinking a glass of milk it was clear that first night that a line had been drawn. There were three adults my mom, my aunt, and even my cousin; and then there was me, the child.
After the show was over I was sent up to bed. I lifted back the sheets and saw that even they were babyish. There were little cartoon cars all over them. And sighed and hoped this would be limited to sheets and PJs. I climbed into bed and quickly fell asleep.
In my dreams I was walking down the beach. I didn’t really know where I was going or were I was coming from but I slowly began to realize I was wearing my cowboy PJs. Further on down the beach the waves began to rise ever higher. I tried to walk to higher ground but I was hit by large powerful wave and knocked to the ground. The wave receded back into the ocean and was left in soaking wet clothes. The PJs were clinging my skin and began to try to pull them away from me. “All I have to do is find a place to take them off and I’ll probably never have to wear them again” I thought. But them something awful occurred to me, I wasn’t on the beach, but in bed. I sat straight up and pulled back the sheets. My PJs and the bed surrounding me were soaked.
How could this happen? I couldn’t even remember a time I’d wet the bed. But here I was 12 years sitting in a wet footed sleeper. My first thought was to try to dispose of the evidence, but I couldn’t reach the zipper. I’d have to admit to someone that’s I’d peed in my bed. I opened my bedroom door. The sounds of the three women of the house having breakfast could already be heard. “Mom!” I called down “I need to tell you something.”
“Honey, it’s not polite to shout. You can come down here and tell me.” And display my little accident for everyone to see? I didn’t want to do that.
“But I need to tell you here.”
“You can either come down or not tell me at all.”
I knew I couldn’t spend the entire vacation in my room so sulked down stairs and into the kitchen. There was no need for me to explain anything when I appeared in the kitchen that morning with a large wet spot that spread halfway down to my knee with one small trickle running down to the right padded foot. “I… I had an accident” I stammered “I’m sorry about your mattress Aunt Linda.”
“You don’t have to worry about that dear” responded Aunt Linda “I’m just glad you dind’t try to hide it, now I can clean it up before it gets ruined.” She went upstairs as my mom knelt down and hugged me.
“That’s OK baby” she said “I really should have made sure nothing like this could have happened. But we can fix that tonight, can’t we?” I really had no idea what she was talking about, and for a moment I thought I saw her wink at my cousin. But it felt good that she wasn’t angry with me, and I just buried my face into her shoulder and cried tears of relief.
I was in a daze having just woken up in a wet bed for the first time I could remember. It was obvious that I was not going to be treated like the adult I thought I was on this vacation. Aunt Linda came back into the kitchen and announced that she’d cleaned up the results of my little accident.
“I’m really sorry about this” my mom said “he’s never done this before.”
“It shouldn’t be a problem this one time, but we may not be so lucky if there’s a next time.”
“I was thinking that maybe he should wear protection just in case it happens again.”
My eyes widened at my mom’s statement. “She couldn’t possibly mean diapers could she?” I thought “I’m 12 and this is the only time this had ever happened.”
“I think that would be a good idea.” Replied my aunt “My experience has taught me that little boys are never really potty trained until they’re a bit older than Jason. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep them in diapers if they’re having accidents.”
“I promise I won’t do it again” I protested “I don’t need to wear diapers.”
But mom had already made up her mind “If this is just a one time thing then you won’t have to wear them anymore. But I don’t want to take any chances.” Then she turned to my aunt. “Do you have anything you’d recommend?”
“Well I don’t know…”
Sarah interrupted her “You could probably put him in Pampers size 6. He’s about the right size.”
“Yes” said Aunt Linda nodding “those should do just fine. I even have a few bags on hand.”
My heart sank. My 15 year old cousin was now advising my mom on what sort of baby diaper I should be put it. “OK then that’s what I’ll try” mom said as she turned back to me “Now let’s get you out of those wet clothes.”
I was led up to my room where my mom proceeded to help me out of the soaked sleeper. She assured me that I’d only have to spend one night in diapers if I was dry that night and sent me to shower. After I was done showering I overhead the three women discussing my accident.
“I know how bad he must have felt” I could hear my mom saying “but he was just so cute in his wet little jammies. I can’t wait to powder up his behind and get him all snug and diapered.” My aunt cousin voiced their agreement.
I decided to simply put up with it for now. I was certain that it would all blow over after I woke up dry the next morning. So I got dressed and went downstairs. The rest of the day was uneventful and I managed to forget about what was awaiting me that night.
But eventually reality came barging in. When mom decided it was my bedtime she asked my aunt where the diapers could be found. She asked Sarah to go grab them and she soon came back with not only a bag of Pampers but also some baby powder.
“Good thinking Sarah. We don’t want any rashes do we?” Commented Aunt Linda.
Again I was led up to my room. Mom told me to sit on the bed and I complied. She began untying my shoes. She took off my shoes and told me to raise my arms, my shirt was pulled off over my head and neatly laid on the dresser. Then she gently pushed me onto my back and began to unbutton my pants which she quickly pulled off and laid on top of my shirt. Then she removed my underwear I was laying naked on the bed waiting for my mom to diaper me like a little baby. She opened the powder and liberally sprinkled it over my diaper area. Then she grabbed a fresh diaper from the bag and unfolded it. “OK sweetie, lift your butt so I can put this on.” I knew there was no sense in resisting at this point so I allowed her to slide the diaper under my butt. She then brought the diaper up from between my legs and expertly taped it on both sides.
“There” she said “now let’s get your PJs on.” She held out the dinosaur sleeper so I could step into it. I worked my way into the babyish thing as she zipped me into it. “Now hopefully there won’t be any leaks. I don’t want to have to wash these things everyday” She said. Once again I got a static shock, but this one left me with a warm feeling all over.
Then she pulled back the covers and patted my diapered butt as I climbed into bed. “Goodnight baby., stay dry.” She said as she kissed my forehead. She turned out the light and left the room. I could smell the baby powder and hear my diaper rustling beneath my PJs. I felt small, helpless, and babyish. I wondered how long this would go on and drifted slowly off to sleep.
I woke up the next morning and slowly began to remember the events of the last few days. For a moment I was relieved that the bed was dry, but then I remembered that I was diapered. It was hard to tell if the diaper was wet. I couldn’t see it and had no access to it. I’d have to wait to have it checked.
My mom opened the door. “Good morning sweetie. Are you wet?”
“I can’t tell.” I said.
“Well let’s check then.” She pulled back my covers and started to unfasten some buttons in the crotch of the PJs. I’d noticed them before and didn’t know what they were for. She stuck a finger in my diaper and pronounced me soaked. And without another word she untaped my diaper removed it and threw it away. She then grabbed a baby wipe and started to clean my diaper area. I realized that the odd buttons in my PJs had been placed there to facilitate diaper changing. Why would Aunt Linda give me such a thing? And where did she get them?
“There we go, all dry and clean. That wasn’t so bad was it?” I didn’t respond. “Well I think you may not be as grown up as you think you are. Now lets go downstairs and get some breakfast.”
In the kitchen Aunt Linda and Sarah were setting out breakfast. “Well we had a little wet diaper this morning but everything else was nice and dry” Announced my mom.
“Oh good” said Aunt Linda “Isn’t it nicer to wake up a dry bed?”
“I guess so” I said.
“You really ought to thank your Aunt for letting us use those diapers.” Urged my mom.
I reluctantly thanked her and she smiled and said “You’re welcome honey. Anything to keep those cute PJs from getting all worn out.”
I knew I’d have to do something to convince these three that I was as grown up as anyone could want. It was just that I was having some weird problem that was soon to pass. I’d show them I was all but an adult. If only I knew how.
We had breakfast and to my great relief my bedwetting was not discussed. After we finished we all showered and went to the mall. The mall was packed with Christmas shoppers. We made our way from store to store and my mind wandered far away from bedwetting and diapers.
In the middle of the mall was seated the requisite man in a Santa suit. I’d known about Santa for years, and hadn’t sat in his lap for even longer. But something moved my mom to request that I do it one last time. I scoffed but she claimed she just wanted to see it one least time and promised that there might be a video game in it for me.
Reluctantly I agreed and we got in line. While the line slowly progressed I began to feel a growing urge to go the bathroom. I tried to ignore it. If I left I would have given up my place in line and I didn’t want to prolong this embarrassing episode. At last I made it to the front of the line and took a seat on Santa’s lap.
My situation was quite urgent at this point but was certain I’d be able to make it. I tried to explain to the man that I was just doing this so my mom could get a picture. But there was some problem with the camera and I was forced to wait. I strained with all my might but my bladder eventually released. I felt a wave of horror and relief as I soaked my pants and Santa’s knee in front of half the mall. After what seemed like an eternity the public spectacle was ended as the girl employed as an elf listed me from Santa’s knee and placed me in front of my mom.
“I’m sorry about this” said my mom.
“Don’t worry about it ma’am. We get wet little guys all the time.” Replied the elf.
My mom took my hand and began to walk me towards the restrooms. I just looked at the ground and wondered what was happening to me. Maybe I really was turning into a baby. Maybe I always was baby. The line for the restrooms seemed to stretch on forever. Mom surveyed the scene and led me into the changing room instead which was far less busy.
“OK honey. I have some clothes here that I bought for you, we’ll just have to have you wear them now.” There was no privacy anywhere in the room so I had to change out in the open just like the babies who where being tended to by their mothers.
As my mom was helping me out my clothes one of the mothers took notice of the scene. “Have a little accident?” she asked.
“I’m afraid so” replied my mom “He’s been having accidents at night too. If this keeps I’ll be changing diapers all day.”
“Mom!” I interjected.
“Oh honey, everybody knows that little boys have accidents every once in a while.”
The woman nodded and smiled at me. “You should be glad you have a mother who knows how to take care of you.”
Just then my mom noticed that she hadn’t bought any underwear. “The mall provides extra diapers for parents who run out. I think they have some large training pants over in the corner.
My mom thanked her for the tip as she walked out with her baby. She quickly found a pair of large pull-ups and held them out for me to step into. Not wanting to be naked any longer than necessary I complied and the training pants were pulled into place. Soon I was dressed in dry clothes and we left.
We caught up with Aunt and cousin and we lingered around the mall a little longer. I longed to get back to my Aunt’s house where I could take off the silly diaper was forced by circumstance to wear. But when we got home my mom insisted that I keep it on “just in case.”
After dinner I was watching TV when my bladder again demanded to be emptied. The urge was very strong and it was obvious I was losing my ability to know when I needed to go until it was extremely dire. My cousin was using the downstairs bathroom so I ran upstairs to use the upstairs one. Halfway up the stairs a trickle began to run out into my pull-up. I figured I could still get away with it if I made to the bathroom but right in front of the door I flooded the training pants.
It was a good sized wetting but my training pants held it. After a brief bout of panic I decided I could dispose of the pull-ups before bedtime and my mom would never know. So I went back downstairs and pretended nothing had happened.
In the living room my mom greeted me with the pair of Dinosaur sleepers I’d worn last night. “Aunt Linda rented a movie. So I thought it would be a good idea to get you all ready for bed before we started watching it.”
I gulped and followed her back up the stairs. Once again I was taken out of my shirt and pants. “I see you had another accident. Oh well, we’ll just use diapers until we can get you potty trained again.”
Once again I was wiped clean with a baby wipe, powdered and diapered. She helped me into my PJs and led me down stairs into the living room. Aunt Linda started the movie and I sat down in a chair. “Why don’t you come over here with me sweetie. That’s Aunt Linda’s chair.”
I walked over to my mom and she picked me up and laid me across her lap. She cradled me in her arms. After all the embarrassment I had to admit to my self that being cared for was comforting. I felt secure in my mother’s arms. Instead of protesting I laid my head on her shoulder and watched the movie. Long before it was over I was fast asleep.
“You must have sleepy. You slept through the whole movie” said my mom as she woke me up. I looked around and realized that I’d fallen asleep on my mother’s lap. She checked my diaper and smiled. “Looks like you’re going to need a new diaper before I put you to bed. Let’s go.”
Groggy and sleepy I followed her into my room were I obediently laid down on the bed. She changed me into a fresh diaper and tucked me into bed. I think I fell back to sleep before she even left the room.
In the morning I was jarred awake when I hit the floor. In a daze I looked up at the ceiling and realized that I’d just fallen out of bed. Things were just getting weirder and weirder. My mom most have heard me hit the floor because she came rushing in.
“Are you OK honey?” she asked.
“I think so. I just fell out of bed.” I replied.
She came over and helped me up onto the bed where she started to change me out of my night-time diaper. “Since you had those accidents yesterday I’m going to keep you in diapers today.” I knew I was in no position to protest, I needed diapers now so I’d have to let my mom put a new diaper on me for the day. So I allowed myself to be diapered. Once she was finished she helped me into my day clothes and we went downstairs for breakfast.
As I sat down at the table Aunt Linda could hear my diaper rustle. “So you’ve got him back in day time diapers to?” She asked my mom.
“Yeah. His pull-ups were wet when I got him ready for bed last night so figured he’d better have some today just in case.”
Aunt Linda looked at me sympathetically “You poor little guy. Don’t worry I’m sure your mom will get you all potty trained again.
After breakfast I decided to go out in the backyard to play. Aunt Linda had an enormous yard to explore. Any kid could easily spend hours poking around and discovering things. I was in one of the far reaches of the yard when I was struck by the need to go to bathroom. I had only the slightest of warning before I lost control and wet my diaper. I looked down at my pants and was surprised to see that my Pampers had done their job and contained the flood. Then I was horrified as it dawned on me what I’d have to do.
I trudged back to the house with my soaked diaper bulging between my legs and went inside to find my mom. When I found her in the living room I gulped.
“Mom?” I asked.
“Could you uh… change my diaper?”
“Oh of course. Just come up stairs and we’ll get out of that wet thing.”
We went upstairs were I laid on my bed. Mom slid my pants down to my ankles, untaped my soaked diaper and removed it. As she was wiping me clean with a baby wipe she told me about her plans for the rest of the day. “Aunt Linda and I are going back to the store for a few things. Sarah will take care of you while we’re away.”
“But she’s only three years older than me.” I protested.
“She’s very good at looking after little boys. You’ll mind her just like you’d mind me.” She said as she fastened a fresh diaper in place.
Before long my mom and aunt were on their way out the door and my mom was leaving Sarah with a few last minute instructions.
“And make sure he gets a nap. He was really tired last night and don’t think he’s getting enough sleep.” My turned to me and said “Bye sweetie, remember what I said about minding your sitter.” The door closed and I was in the care of my 15 year old cousin.
“So do you want to play a game?” She asked in the same way she must have asked the preschoolers she babysat. Not knowing what else to do I agreed. She set it up on the floor, it was some game for little kids but she patiently and slowly explained the rules to me.
As we played I became aware that I was wetting my diaper. I hadn’t even felt the need to go and sat up in surprise. Sarah noted my surprise “Are you wet?” she asked.
I blushed and nodded. She took my hand and took me into my room. “Your mommy said you’d need a nap, so I think you should take it after we get you in a dry diaper. So why don’t you sit down so I can get your shoes off and start getting you ready.” For a moment I balked. But I remembered what my mom had said and how serious she was. So I reluctantly did what I was told and sat down on the bed.
Sarah untied and removed my shoes. Then she unbuttoned my shirt and took it off. “Now lay back” She said as she gently pushed me into a reclining position. She unbuttoned my pants and slid them off my ankles. Finally she unfastened my diaper. There I was naked and vulnerable before my babysitter who was only several years my elder as she diapered me and prepared me for my nap. It was clear that no matter my physical age I was the baby of he house.
She set to work with the wipe and baby powder. And before long I was in a fresh new dry diaper. “I think you’ll be fine in just your diaper for now” she said. And then I was tucked into bed and put down for a nap. I was very tired from all that had happened that day and I slept soundly for the next hour.
Once again I woke up on the floor. Mom and Aunt Linda were home by that time and everyone came rushing in to see what had happened. Mom helped me up. “Are you OK baby?” She asked.
“I think so.” I said.
“He fell of bed last night to. I just don’t know what to do with him.”
“We have a large crib in nursery” Aunt Linda responded “It’s certainly big enough for him.”
“That’s a great idea Linda.” Said my mom “I was thinking of moving him over there since it’s closer to my room. But I never thought of the crib.”
That night my stuff was moved into the nursery. The room was huge with a vast expanse of colorful carpet, a crib, a changing table, and a rocking chair. Colorful nursery rhyme characters covered the walls and a full toy chest sat in the corner next to a playpen and a few books. My new room was very different from the one I had at home with rock star posters.
In the back of the room the nursery had it’s very own bathroom where my mom led me after getting me out of my clothes and diaper. “I think your going to quick bath before bedtime” she said.
She started running the water and instructed me to get in. She poured in some soap, grabbed a towel and began to bathe me. I was embarrassed to have my mom give me a bath but somehow it felt good to. I knew I was loved and cared for. All three of these women had taken good care of me. Lots of kids wouldn’t have been so lucky. She didn’t say a word she just hummed as she gently and thoroughly cleaned me up. For the first time a really relaxed and began to except me role as the baby.
After she was finished she helped me out of the tub and wrapped a towel around me. “Sarah told me what a good boy you were today” she said as she dried me off. “I have a special treat for you since you’ve been so well behaved.”
She didn’t say what it was but she boosted me onto the changing table and put my diaper on and help me into my PJs. Then she walked me over the rocking chair and laid me in her lap. Reaching over to the table next to her she retrieved the treat a full bottle of milk.
“Before you decide whether you want this or not I want to talk to you. ” She said “I feel like I’m a lot closer to you after these last few days. This may sound crazy to you but I feel like we really bond when I’m changing your diaper. And when you were sleeping in my lap last night, well I just wanted that moment to last forever. I think I’ve asked you to grow up to fast. I want to have my little baby back, and I think you might want to be my baby. Do you?”
I looked at her and could see how deeply she wanted to take care of me. And she was right, I’d been to quick to try to become an adult. Something was missing, and maybe that could be restored. I smiled and said “Yes mommy. I want to be your baby.”
She smiled and put the bottle in my mouth. I leaned back, closed my eyes and sucked on it. My mommy began to rock and sing a lullaby. As I finished the milk I drifted off into the most pleasant dreams of my life.
I slowly woke up and realized I was in a crib. Above me was a colorful mobile and all around me were the slats of the crib which rose protectively far above me. I remembered the night before, how I had become a baby again. Next to me was a teddy bear, I turned over and hugged it. I closed my eyes and drank in the simple pleasure of being a baby in his crib. I felt like nothing in the world could hurt me there. I knew that I’d wet my diaper during the night, but mommy would soon be in to change me into a nice new dry one.
As a laid there I heard the door open and my mommy’s footsteps. I stayed turned away from the door with my eyes closed and my teddy in my arms. For some reason I wanted to pretend to be asleep. I could hear her as she leaned up against the side of the crib and watched me for a moment.
“Wake up sweetie.” she said. And I turned and smiled. She let down the side of the crib and helped me out and onto the changing table. “You looked so cute with your bear I didn’t want to wake you up” she said as she taped me into a fresh diaper. Then she helped back down off the changing table, held my hand, and took me down to have breakfast.
At the table there was now an old wooden highchair. At was bigger than usual but still intended for use by babies and toddlers. Mommy had me sit in it and she slid the tray into place. “Now be good while mommy helps Aunt Linda get breakfast ready. OK?” She said and patted my head.
I sat in my highchair and watched them make blueberry pancakes. I must have been an odd scene but it somehow seemed perfectly natural. Before long a Sesame Street was placed on the tray along with some cut cut-up pancakes and a sippy cup of orange juice. Before I was handed a fork mommy tied a bib around my neck.
Aunt Linda admired me in my highchair and bib. “You just get cuter and cuter” she said, making me blush. I happily ate my pancakes and drank from my sippy cup as the three woman discussed the travails of raising toddlers.
Mommy finished before I did and took my fork “Here baby we need to hurry up, let me help you.” I smiled, it was just an excuse to baby me some more, but I was enjoying the attention. She carefully took each bite of pancake and put it my mouth. She finished and wiped my face clean with a wet paper-towel.
She took off the tray and let down out the highchair. She once again took my hand and led me upstairs to the nursery. She let down one side of the playpen and instructed me to get inside.”Be a good boy and play while we get ready for the day. I’ll be back soon to get you all dressed” She said as she raised the side back up. She reached in to gave me playful swat on the butt and left.
I sat down and began playing with the baby toys that had been left for me. They didn’t really amuse me. But they completed the feeling of being a baby. And more and more I was enjoying it. I didn’t have to worry about what was cool or fear what growing up would entail. For now, at least, I could relax and know I was loved.
Something nagged at my mind though. I still didn’t know why I’d begun wetting. It almost seemed like I was in the middle of a conspiracy. Mommy had given me the distinct impression that something big was happening today. I pushed these concerns out of my head and focused on enjoying the moment. But the biggest surprise was still ahead of me.