I know exactly where I was when I first heard that Madeleine McCann had gone missing, I was on the A40, going into London to see ‘The Sound of Music’, I heard the news and was certain that a few hours later we would hear that she had been found, alive. Over the next few days her disappearance was often on my mind, I suppose it was mainly due to the media coverage but some news stories resonate, we had been to Praia de Luz on a family holiday so all the video footage of the area was familiar, there were twins in the family, Maddie was a name that daughters had thought about for their girls, little things that strike a chord, keep you thinking. This has been one of those cases where I am really torn in my reactions. As a parent I am full of sympathy for Maddie’s parents, not knowing where your child is must be absolutely harrowing. As a human being I am terrified for this little girl and what she may have gone through, what she may be going through. Back to the parent though, how could they leave their children alone in the apartment? How hypocritical though, we have been on holiday and left the children in a hotel room.
Then I became rather irritated by the media coverage and the way it seemed to be slanted so that the fact that the children had been left alone was played down. I erred toward the ‘If they were a single-parent, on benefits they would be getting a lot more condemnation’ school of thought, but I did feel slightly guilty about thinking that because of the undeniable awfulness of their situation. Never though have I imagined that either one of Maddie’s parents played a part in her disappearance, and I still don’t, but how seductive are all the stories in the tabloids? Earlier daughter and I were discussing all the developments and just two women, of different generations, chatting showed how different people’s perspectives can be. I said how I found the fact that Kate McCann, when she found her daughter missing, shouted ‘Someone has taken Maddie’ strange, as my alert would have centred on the fact that my 3 year old wasn’t in the apartment and so I would have shouted ‘I can’t find Maddie. Where is she? We need to look.’ or something far more general than assuming immediately that she had been snatched. Daughter though said that her greatest fear is that someone would take one of her children so would probably assume the child had been abducted. Is it a difference in time, abduction is more common now, or more publicised? Or is it just that daughter’s children are younger and so she has never experienced them wandering off? Who knows?
Gerry McCann has a blog. I have been reading it and finding it all rather surreal. They are missing Maddie, but then there is a resume of all the good times they are having as well. Once again I stop myself, and muse. I have a blog. In it I detail all the trivia but also many sad things that our family are experiencing. That’s what a blog is, an on line diary of events, and that is what Gerry McCann is doing, finding an outlet. I only hope that he finds his blog as cathartic for him as mine is for me.