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Last week, I wrote about whether or not I have a kid friend (I guess I do).

Today, Hank and I were supposed to hang out. I would head home from work around 3:30 and he would take the bus home. We’d meet up about 3:35 or 3:40 in our ‘hood, then from there ride our bikes to the library.

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He never showed up.

I asked Max if he’d seen Hank. I asked Max’s mom. The lone neighborhood girl, Coco (we actually share a real-life name that’s somewhat unusual) and Coco’s dad, Leonard, had also not seen Hank. We formed a search party and tried to find him. Library, friend’s house, park: No Hank.

Max’s mom, Margie and I, were discussing the situation at the turn-in to our cul-de-sac. There happened to be a police officer parked there. (Currently, there’s a dispute between a neighbor and a pre-school, in which the neighbor hates kids, and the preschool happens to have quite a few of them. Neighbor also hates parents, hates their cars, with which they pick up their kids, and she hates noise. So she hates this preschool. Preschool was having and end-of-the-year party, I guess, and the owner of the preschool had called the police to be on-hand in case the Neighbor lost her shit, like she’s done in years past. It was a pre-emptive police call, which is sad.) The police officer overheard Margie and I talking about a missing Hank, and asked “Is someone missing?” “Yes,” I told him. “We’re trying to find him...”

I decided to drive to the school to see if he was still there. Fortunately, he was. He decided that he didn’t want to take the bus today; he wanted to play with his friends at camp. The people at the camp were nice and let me take Hank home. As we passed the police officer still parked outside the cul-de-sac, I told Hank he was there because we’d had so many police out looking for Hank. Hank was either impressed or scared. Possibly both. Either way, his eyes were wide open when I told him. And I’m not sorry about lying to him about it either. I was getting really worried.

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We had a discussion about choices, and things we can do to NOT get in trouble. Then we went to the library because I needed more books. He wanted to move in with me. I told him that wasn’t an option; he’d have to go home at some point. He was pouty and whiny most of the afternoon. I think it was knowing the looming punishment to come. Both his parents apologized to me. Hank’s grounded for a while, and privileges are being taken away.

Kid friends: They can be so fickle. :-/

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