So it was the end of a really long day. I just wanted to go home and be annoyed by only two children instead of several hundred. As I was walking out the door, I noticed him sitting on the bench.
"Didn't your mom come yet?"
He is a handsome child, just 7. But you can tell he has been there, done that and will carry the heaviness of it for the rest of his life. Sweet-natured in spite of it all, loving, bright.
After much discussion and several phones calls to several non-working phone numbers, we decide it is very late-past dinner time by now- and the police have to be called.
I sat down next to him on the bench and pulled his slight frame over next to me. As I put my arm around him, the weight of what was coming next caused his head to drop and his shoulders to slump.
"Now, no one is in trouble, mom is probably just working late, but since we can't drive you home, we have to call the police."
He drew a deep breath and a single tear slid down his face and dropped on to my hand. It sent a ripple of anger, frustration, and fear through me-how could anybody hurt this amazing child beside me?
He never said a word. He put his head up, straightened his shoulders, gathered his stuff and went to stand by the door. When the police woman came to get him, he turned, gave me a small smile and waved the lollipop I had given him as a good bye. A second ripple shook me from head to toe~deep admiration for the little warrior as he walked out the door.