I'm blogging about Madeleine today because I agree that no stone should be left unturned in the search for her. It's possible that someone from a distant or remote corner of the world might come across one of our blogs, see her picture for the first time and think: "I saw her yesterday near here.." Highly unlikely, but possible I suppose. And anyway, it's by keeping her visible that she'll stay in people's minds and they're more likely to notice anything untoward that might be Madeleine-related.
If you want to put a link about Madeleine in your blog sidebar like the one I'm currently running, you need to find your blog template and paste this coding into the sidebar section:
<a href="http://bringmadeleinehome.com"><img src="http://bringmadeleinehome.com/img/madeleine150x120.gif" width="150" height="120" border="0"></a>
My heart goes out to Madeleine's parents. It's obvious they really love their children and as such they must be going through hell. I'm also glad to hear they're now co-sleeping with their little twins, Shaun and Amelie, because I'm not a fan of separate bedrooms for little children. My own childhood memories go back to when I was about two years old and I can still remember the feelings of abandonment, fear and grief from being put in my own bedroom to sleep. I never got used to it, though they did it from the day I was born.
I've also been a far more conventional mother than I am now, when Tom and Ali were babies, so I can understand the pressure many mothers are under to physically separate themselves from their young children soon after birth. In my case the pressure came from society, from ruthless daily routines and from my own husband who wanted half of his bed and more than half of his wife to himself every night. So I felt the guilt, but did it anyway - sometimes. And many was the night I'd go to bed with my husband, listen for his snores and at first cry from a baby in the next room, I'd dash in there and settle in that bed with them both.
Yes, I led a strange sort of double life trying to please everyone and appease my own instincts too. And yes, single motherhood is easier than that. Having said that I do know some dads who are mature and generous enough to happily share sleeping arrangements with their young children, so that everyone can have the best of all worlds. And to be fair, I know some women who want to sleep separately from their offspring (and/or their husbands!) So is it a gender thing? I don't know.
Back to Madeleine. I think there's a good chance she's still alive and OK, just being hidden somewhere. I don't think anyone should give up hope that's the case.
Also, for all the publicity, Madeleine isn't the only abducted child in the world and nor is she the only child who might be feeling frightened and confused.
My childhood was mostly miserable - not to the extent some are, but nevertheless I can relate and say it's helped me to appreciate the good things and learn how to be happy and how to stay mostly happy as an adult. No, I wouldn't wish problems on any child, of course not. BUT what I'm saying is that sometimes things turn out for the best, one way or another.
Trite, but true.