Madeleine McCann: how fear has changed us

* Updated: There is a new aged photo of Madeleine McCann as she might look aged 9. Please take a look and keep Madeleine in your mind.

This post was originally published on 12 May 2012, and was updated with this image on 26 April 2012.

Yesterday was Madeleine’s 8th birthday. Mummy has pored over the McCann news articles for several days now, reliving the horror that another mother has experienced on a loop for the last 4 years. I am aware that something is upsetting her, though she would never let me in on the facts. I am also conscious of the fact that Mummy is very protective of me and the Bug. Paranoid, is what Daddy calls it.

I don’t know when the paranoia set in – all I know is that Mummy has a tendency towards panic if we are out without her. Even on the school playground if she loses sight of us her voice has an edge of fear as she self-consciously yells our names.

The fact that we holidayed in an appartment opposite the McCann’s the year before her abduction has made the whole thing more tangible for my Mummy. She can picture the setting, and torment herself with ‘what-if’s’. We had availed ourselves of Mark Warner baby-listening services previously, but we never will again. Similarly there are lots of other actions we may have taken before, that Mummy will not consider in the future. I imagine that this will be a constant source of friction between us as I grow up. I want sleepovers, camping trips, independence – she does not.

Has the McCann tragedy taught us all a useful lesson, or have we succumbed to fear, and a curtailment of our enjoyment of family life in a way that should not be necessary in a normal society?

We pray daily for Madeleine’s return to her family.

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Comments

  1. Alison says

    Mummy is only doing what comes naturally to all Mummy’s. She will never grow out of it but will get better at hiding it. Yes, even when you are 21 and perfectly capable of looking after yourself (well maybe) she will worry until you call to say Hi. Sorry but it is the law.
    One thing I picked up on as a mother after Maddie’s disappearance was that the family must have been watched for several days and their daily routine was monitored so ‘they’ knew the best time to take her. Lesson: be disorganised (something that comes remarkably easy to me).

  2. says

    Firstly, it was lovely to meet your mummy at Blogcamp on Thursday. Your mummy just wants to protect you – it’s not something she should feel bad about. I didn’t have children at the time Madeline went missing. It was a horrific enough story then, but now I have experienced the love mothers have for their children, this case has an added element of horror.

    • Mummy... says

      Thanks PR Mummy, good to meet you too. I feel their tragedy as a physical pain so I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it is for them. I think it is difficult to rationalise fear like that and carry on normally, but we have to do it for the sake of our children and a happy life.

    • says

      God, sometimes it seems to be everywhere! Two years ago a man walked into a neighbour’s house via the back door and stabbed her to death. It makes me scared to even leave the back door unlocked for a moment! Paranoia just sets in when things happen close to home….

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