“Jake’s Costume,” Friend, Oct. 1991, 8
“Would you like to be a clown this year?” Mother asked as she rummaged through the costume box. “We could paint your face all white and red.”
“No,” Jake answered solemnly. “I want my own face to show.”
“Your own face would show if you wore this cute Teddy Bear suit,” Mother suggested next.
“Uh-uh.” Jake shrugged. “I want to wear my Sunday suit.”
Mother looked surprised. She knew that Jake didn’t usually want to wear his Sunday suit anywhere besides church. Even when he’d played “Lightning Ranger” in the first grade talent show, Mother hadn’t been able to talk him into putting on his coat and tie. Instead, he’d worn a lightweight sweater neatly tucked into the waistband of his slacks.
“You could wear your suit and be a vampire,” Mother said, handing him a set of scary-looking plastic teeth.
“No way!” Jake exclaimed. “I don’t want to scare people this year, I want to be nice,”
“Magicians are usually nice,” Mother told him. “Maybe we could make a magic wand for you to carry.”
“Nah!” Jake shook his head. “I’d like to carry a book this Halloween.”
“Whatever you say,” Mother agreed, then wondered out loud if Jake was planning on dressing up like kind old Mr. Larkins, who worked at the city library.
Jake began to giggle when his mother mentioned their friend. Mr. Larkins was just about as nice as a person could be. He wore a suit to work each day, and you hardly ever saw him without some kind of book in his hand. But Jake didn’t plan to be a librarian this October 31. He had something else in mind.
“Wait a minute, Mom,” Jake said, “and I’ll show you what I want to be.”
Mother had time to put away the costume box, dust the storage shelves, and sweep half the basement floor before Jake returned. She grinned from ear to ear when she saw him standing there all dressed up in his Sunday suit with a white shirt and tie. His face was freshly scrubbed, and his hair was parted straight.
In his hand he held a very special book, and pinned right above his pocket was a black construction paper name tag with white chalk letters that read: Elder Jacob B. Adams.
“I see,” Mother said softly, brushing a happy tear from her cheek. “You’re going to be a missionary.”