Sunday, May 27, 2007


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=""><img src="" 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.


Blogger Louise said...

Have done it in my sidebar. It is so sad and we can all feel helpless yet each little thing we do I believe can make a difference.
Here's praying for Madeleine and her family.

4:28 pm, May 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This case has really affected me. I think it's because she was so young and vulnerable, and asleep: which makes her even more vulnerable.

I really feel for the family and the girl and am praying for her return.

As for bed sharing - my son is a complete fidget when he's asleep. I would never get sleep if we shared!!

Each to their own!


6:02 pm, May 27, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Yes Lou, praying and hoping and everything possible.

Julia yes, each to their own :-)

6:51 pm, May 27, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...

Just of to paste in mine too

10:16 pm, May 27, 2007  
Blogger Ruth said...

I have pasted it on mine too even tho it isn't public at the moment.

10:21 pm, May 27, 2007  
Blogger shukr said...

Thank you for this 'putting into perspective', not necessarily for madeleine's parents, as I'm not sure that will ever be entirely possible, though surely for them too, changes have been made which will make life somehow *more* in their absolute grief.

but your hope is tangible and relevant to everyone. It's the story of the King which I wish was ingrained in my very being.

9:44 am, May 28, 2007  
Blogger 'EF' said...

I did a post on Madeleine about a week after she was gone and felt very strongly about it then..also that I was sure that she was alive at that point. Now I feel very different and that the hope is actually harder to bear than the despair. What the parents must be going through is just inconceivable.

It is heartening that so many in the world are keeping Maddy's profile high. I just haven't the stomach for it any more...every time I see her pic now I don't feel hope, I just get a sick can she be living any sort of life now? Even if she has survived...she must be hidden..and what four year old can blossom in seclusion?

Lots of things shock me about this case..that she should be taken at all, that the parents were...well..what can we say...we've all left our kids unattended even if it is for a moment...but to go out to eat leaving three toddlers? *sharp intake of breath*.....a lesson for us all, just in case any of us would ever think it was okay to take that risk. I mean, what if one of the kids had of let themselves out? Fallen and hurt themselves? Been woken and afraid and alone?

I'm not just shocked because the child was took, I am also shocked because the children were left. Another theory I have is that the girl was taken by a mentally ill person who may have witnessed the children being left, maybe one of them had woken and was crying and the mentally ill person thought that they were doing the 'right' thing..this profile of the perpetrator is more comforting to me that thinking a paedophile has done it.

My heart went out to your two year old self, Gill. I can remember being in a cot like that. My mum was rather young when she had me so I guess she was feeling her way the whole time. Mothers just do what they think is right or what they can manage don't they? We all of us screw up from time to time. When my kids tell me I am a bad mother (er..thanks I tell them to button it, they actually don't know how decent we are because they are so used to a relatively charmed life.

8:25 am, May 29, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Brilliant story, Shukr! Thanks :-)

EF, oh I still feel hopeful and will until she's found. I know the chances of her being OK get increasingly less likely as time goes on, but a chance is a chance.

As for leaving young children unattended, no I agree it's never safe to do so. Hopefully a lot of people will learn from Maddie's parents' mistake.

Thanks for your sympathy about my mother. I know and appreciate the fact that you're trying to make me feel better, but in fact she did know better, because she'd 'attachment-parented' my older sister, whom she was evidently pleased to have, then declared she couldn't be bothered to do it for me 'after all that'. I gather she was hoping I'd be a boy which might have given her better leverage over my dad, and she was slightly annoyed with me that I wasn't. They split up a few years later, of course.

I'm currently working on just getting over it, TBH. I've spent so many years trying to kid myself that she didn't really mean it, she did love me really, etc., but it dawned on me recently that I just need to face the cold hard facts and put them behind me, because it was all about her and her issues, not me and mine.

And, as in Shukr's story, it's all good because it's made me a far better parent to my children than I think I would have been otherwise, which in itself is fantastically rewarding. I just bask in my kids on a full-time basis, and I guess I've got my mother to thank for that in a weird sort of way.

That's all very self-centred I know, but I'm just going through a big shift re: my mother-issues. Long-time readers of my blog will be sick to the back teeth of reading about them! But I'm getting there :-)

8:57 am, May 29, 2007  
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