We went kite flying today. Down to a big field known in our family as "the kite field," next to a local public school. There was a football game going on with cute little kids in football gear, but there was enough room for the kites too.
Eldest Daughter captained one kite and I the other, the other two girls to take turns with us once we'd gotten them up, and when we had left some space between us and were trying to launch them, a little boy came up to E.D. She says he asked her, "Will you be my friend?" E.D. is great with kids, and young Leo had a wonderful time with her. He was six. She told him Bible stories and talked with him about the solar system and what animals eat and other fascinating topics. He also got to fly the kite.
When it came time for us to go, it turned out that he didn't know where his mom was. Eventually, with Leo's help, I found his mom with a man at the end of the line of spectators at the game. The man rolled over on the turf, gave a rather hard laugh, and said, "Hey! We've been looking for this cat." The mom gave a nervous smile and thanked me. I explained where he'd been and that he'd been a good boy. The man said, "You can take him back again." I ignored this and said that we needed to go home. Mom still had nothing to say except a nervous, "Thank you," but the man continued to be voluble. "Hey, I've got twenty bucks I'll give you if you take him with you." My face probably showed what I thought of this witticism; he gave another of his unfunny laughs and said, "I'm just kiddin'." I went on my way, feeling vaguely guilty. I hated to leave a child with them. I can't remember if I said goodbye to Leo, for which I feel specifically guilty.
I looked in the Prayer Book for a collect for children like Leo. Couldn't find one. They all make reference to the child's being a "member of thy Church" and "standing fast in the faith" and stuff like that. Maybe there isn't a collect for everything after all. But pray for Leo anyway.