Before Pesach, my husband went to have his hair trimmed; while I was waiting for him, a man approached me and asked, pointing at two boys who were running around the place and playing while waiting for their turn, "are these kids yours?"
I blinked. The boys looked no younger than 7 or 8 years old. Since I'm 22 years old, I didn't quite know what to think – do I look old enough to have an 8-year-old, or do I look like someone who got married at the age of 14? Finally, noticing that the man wasn't even looking at me, probably out of excessive piety – the entire incident took place in one of the more Orthodox-ish places in Israel - I smiled politely, shook my head and said that no, the boys aren't mine.
… I will admit to you that I long for the moment when we go out with our children, and I'm asked, "are these kids yours?" – or even better, "are all these yours?" – and I can proudly smile and say, "yes!"
Some days after that, I met with a friend who did clinical nutrition training with me. After a bit of talking about this and that, she half-smiled, half-winked at me and asked, "well? Are you pregnant yet?"
I blushed and said that no, we aren't expecting just yet – although we are certainly praying and waiting for God's will in this area of our life to be done. She raised her eyebrows, not really understanding, and said, "But I thought you were going to try for a baby right away!"
Yes, I explained patiently (blushing again), we are doing our part – but it can take time. Even if you are perfectly healthy, it's absolutely normal if you don't conceive in the first month. It's also normal if it doesn't happen in the third or sixth months – and most doctors say you have nothing to worry about until a year has passed.
She stared at me, wide-eyed, and whispered, "Are you serious?"
… While talking to many people my age or a little younger/older, I often hear something along these lines: "I'll graduate from college when I'm 28. I could get married while in college, or right after that. Then we'll need to establish our careers a bit, that'll take a year or two. When I'm 30, I will have my first baby, and after two years we'll have another…"
This confidence is then shattered by the mysterious ways God plans the lives of each and every one of us. You might get married when you least expect it, and have a child earlier or later than you originally planned. Some couples – wonderful, loving couples – aren't blessed with children at all, for reasons that are only known to our Creator. The important thing is to remember Who is truly the giver of life.
No couple can truly know if, or when, or how they will be blessed with children. Our bodies aren't functional machines that will set into the motion of conception as soon as we start "trying". If more people realized that, maybe children would be regarded as the precious miracle they are, rather than easy attachments that can be acquired as soon as we decide we want to have them.
My husband and I are both young and without any health problems we know of, and we have only been married for a month and a half. However, we don't take it for granted that we will be blessed with children. I pray with trepidation for this most precious gift of the Lord, and am willing to accept His plan for our family.