For at least the last three years Rojo has declined all offers to get a new Halloween costume, instead opting to wear the red M&M costume we bought at Goodwill for $1.50 a million years ago. It's comfortable. There is no mask. It's predictable. It's red. It's perfect.
As soon as we turned our calendars to October he started in. "Mom, the Halloween carnival is on Friday, October 30th. I am going to wear my red M&M costume and Rosie is going to be a green M&M.
In the back of my mind I made a hazy note to check in with Rosie about this, but I kept forgetting.
Finally, about two weeks ago I saw Rosie when I picked up Rojo from school, and I said, "Rojo tells me you are going to be a green M&M with him for Halloween, is that true?"
"Yes! I am!" she chirped.
I put the whole matter in the "handled" section of my life and forgot about it entirely.
A friend and teacher at school came by on Thursday evening so we could go have dinner. She said, "Rosie is trying to get ahold of you. She is wondering about the green M&M costume." That's when it dawned on me that Rosie thought I had it, and I thought she had it.
I knew it was not a matter of going to the store and buying another one, I haven't seen them for sale in years, and Goodwill was probably closing, and I could see Rojo's simple dream go up in smoke. Not an option.
I racked my brain until I remembered that Kathleen's daughter had been not only an M&M one year, YEARS ago, but I thought a green one. I called Kathleen's cell phone. Yes, she thought it was green and she thought it might have survived her recent purging of the costume box, but she had a distant memory of lending it to someone and couldn't remember getting it back. She'd check when she got home.
My friend and I went off to dinner and about the time the wine arrived, Kathleen called. The green M&M costume had been located, she would put it on her front porch for me so I could get it on my way home and take it to Rosie.
And that's just what we did, except when we got to Rosie's house she wasn't home, and I feared she had her mother out searching the town, in vain, for a green M&M costume. I tried calling their cell phone but nobody answered. About an hour later Rosie called.
"Carrie? Did you try to call?"
"Yes, Rosie, I wanted to let you know I found you a costume and I put it on your front porch. I hope you aren't out looking for one right now."
"We were picking up my sister from soccer and then we were just about to go looking for a costume. Your timing is perfect."
No, Rosie, you're perfect.
It takes a village.