This is so Lifetime movie-of-the-week. I never, ever thought I'd ever be even remotely involved in anything like this.
Ethan, one of Paul's best friends at school, has unfortunately been the victim of a custody battle for years. Recently, his mother was awarded temporary full custody. Now his father has disappeared with him. I know both the parents, I've had both of them over for playdates. I knew Ethan's father was frustrated by the process and sick of the endless court battles (I had gently inquired about a communication failure I had observed at school, and he filled me in a little bit), but his mother never talked to me about her feelings on it.
And now it's come to this. I know Ethan's parents both love him, and I can't imagine what it must be like to be involved in an endless tug-of-war over your own child. Ethan's mother must be tearing her hair out. What drove Ethan's father to this, I cannot fathom. Paul hasn't mentioned not seeing Ethan, but I know eventually he'll ask about it. When he does, I'm just going to tell him Ethan went away with his father for a while. This is just awful for everybody involved.