Column: Missing out on cuddles is one of the hardest things to bear
It’s one of those traditions that have become part of the festive period – photographs of newborns with their parents who are the first arrivals on the important dates in our calendars.
If you are going to be born on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day you may as well be one of the first and enjoy your moment in the spotlight because for future years you will have to share your special day with everyone else’s celebrations.
The photographs we used to have in The Falkirk Herald would be captured on the hospital ward with all the mums, wrapped up in their dressing gowns proudly clutching their newborns.
However, nowadays the protocol is to get mum and baby home from hospital as quickly as possible so the photographs are usually taken in the family living room with proud dad, exhausted mum and smiling siblings.
The excitement of the new arrival and the family’s delight at sharing their good news always makes good reading. But in 2021 what stood out for me in all the stories of the three New Year arrivals in this area is how much of the extended family are having to forego the usual cuddles due to the social distancing rules.
Even grandparents are having to catch their first glimpses through windows or from a distance indoors, while actually getting to hold the little ones will have to wait for many.
It’s not easy as any grandparent will testify.
You can never get enough cuddles but during lockdown they have been sadly missing.
Video calls and Zoom hangouts have proved useful for keeping in touch but it’s not the same as being together with your little people.
And at the other end of the age spectrum it’s true for those with elderly relatives who are having to have all their contact from a distance.
Sadly, for them there is the prospect that there might not be many months or years left to spend together making the enforced distancing particularly difficult to bear.
The reason that we are keeping our distance has to be for the safety of our little ones … but it is far from easy as any grandparent will agree.
Here’s hoping this enforced distancing isn’t here for too much longer and the vaccine brings an end to these strange times we find ourselves in.