I've been thinking about the cases of Ben Needham and Madeleine McCann again. Both happened when the person looking after them took a risk. Ben Needham played outside while his grandparents were inside. Madeleine McCann was asleep in the holiday apartment while her parents had dinner a short distance away.
And I've been thinking how easy it is to judge them for this but also how easy it would be to do the same. There are some evenings when the baby is asleep and I am home alone when I think I could really do with picking something up from the corner shop, or posting a letter, or feeding next door's cat. And I think to myself that the baby is asleep and will probably be asleep when I get back, and that even if she wasn't she's safely in her cot and can't get out.
I never do of course. Fear of fire and abductors and foxes and dingos and fits and choking and me being run over or locked out all prevent it. But I think it would be easy to do, and once you had done it successfully it would be easy to do again, going a bit further, staying out a bit longer. And what I think about the Needhams and about the McCanns is just what poor poor people, paying such a horrendous price for taking such a small risk - one that I reckon we've all considered, and one that because of them we'll now never take.
Searching for lost children
My baby, my daemon