Friday, June 01, 2007

Phew!

I was reading some blog or other about the Madeleine McCann kidnapping the other day. I can't refer you to the blog because it wasn't one of my usual haunts; I linked there from one of my usual haunts — but I can't remember which one (yes, I'm doing really well, thank you). In case you don't recall the event, here is a brief summary from Wikipedia.

Madeleine disappeared from the apartment where the family was staying on the evening of 3 May. At the time, her parents had put Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings to bed, and were dining 100 yards away with friends at a restaurant near the Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club. Kate and Gerry McCann reported to the police that they were taking turns checking on their children and that at approximately 21:00 Western European Summer Time Gerry checked on the children and they were all fine. At around 21:45 the couple returned from the restaurant to find an empty bed and the apartment door and window wide open ...


Poor parents: they made a bad decision, and their lives will never be the same because of it. We've all done dumb things; fortunately we haven't all been made to endure harsh consequences. When Althegal was very young, and her mother was away for the day, I did a worse thing than leaving her unattended for a few minutes.

The exact details are murky now, but the gist of it is that she was out playing with her friend. She was only three or four years old, and I wasn't paying enough attention — not nearly enough! I'm pretty sure that I checked on her early on in the afternoon, and I recall her also wandering in and out from time to time. She and friend were doing well on our quiet and safe street. TG that it was just that — quiet and safe.

I lost track of just how long it had been since she last checked in or since I had last bothered to check on her. Mom came home, and very soon after the phone rang, and a kindly lady told Cuppa that Althegal was at her place, a number of blocks over — on a busier street. She and her friend had wandered off, but friend had returned home without her.

Well, TG for kind ladies and for safe returns and for "all's well that ends well," but when I think think of what coulda happened, I get a little queasy all over again. Phew!

10 comments:

Gina said...

I think as parents we all had or will have our "bonehead" moments, and unfortunately, this one has cost that family much.

Cathy said...

AC - We've all dodged those bullets. 39 years ago I used a hairdryer on my son's hair as he sat in our apartment's bathtub.

Trust me - this is before there were warnings all over appliances like there are today.

I can hardly think about it. Like you, it makes me queasy.

PBS said...

Yep, I think all parents have done something along those lines. Hope this situation turns out OK, though.

Heather said...

When our oldest was a toddler, her daddy took off in the van to go grocery shopping, and she started following him down the back lane. I was in the bedroom, thinking she was in the kitchen, and when I came out, she was almost to the street. Those moments can be nearly hear-stopping.

Cate said...

It is such a horrible story...I can't fathom what her parents are going through. I have definately learned from this tragedy...

Dale said...

Daniel disappeared one afternoon when he was playing outside. He was about four at the time. I was absolutely frantic when I found in the neighbour's house. Yeah, we've all done dumb things with our kids. And we've all been lucky. Most of us, anyway.

Laurie said...

I agree, we've all made mistakes with our children.

How sad for this family. I hope that they find her.

Anonymous said...

I would be willing to wager that if you filled a room full of parents and interviewed each, you would find that 95% or more could relate a story where they made a mistake regarding their children. I can still remember setting down a fresh cup of hot coffee on a table right as my 1 year old was 'crusing' (walking while holding onto the side of the table) by. She immediately went to grab the coffee and we caught her just in time.

We are just lucky that most mistakes have a happy ending.

S.

Coll said...

"There But for the Grace of God go I" certainly comes to mind. My heart goes out to the parents of this kidnapped little girl.

ChrisB said...

This family will be carrying so much guilt for the rest of their lives. We are all hoping there will be a good outcome but as time goes on and there are no clues it makes it harder to imagine she will be found safe and well; however, recently a girl, who had been kept in a cellar for years, was found so we must keep hoping.