People who are about to get married by a rabbi, especially if it is by their own rabbi, in their own synagogue (as was the case for my sister and my now brother-in-law), often present themselves on Shabbat previous to the nuptuals (which generally works out to be Saturday morning before their Sunday ceremony) for an aufruf-- being called up to the Torah to recite the blessings before and after reading of the same, and/or, for the more adventurous, to actually read a Torah portion.
After that is accomplished, congregation sings congratulatory songs, and everyone pelts the happy couple with (soft) candy, thoughtfully provided either by the synagogue or by the family. Children then race up to collect the bounty, and a rabbi says some nice things and blesses the couple. Most Saturday mornings, especially if it is a largish congregation, there is also a Bar or Bat Mitzva happening. Which means that the teenager at the center of it also eventually gets pelted with candy and then, surrounded by his or her family, blessed.
Here's what I noticed on the morning of my sister's aufruf-- the rabbi, in blessing the couple, wished them many a good thing, including all sorts of signifiers of a long happily married life, but did not in any way mention children. The same rabbi, however, when blessing the Bat Mitzva girl, mentioned the "may you one day stand with your beloved under a wedding canopy" thing. So it's not that they are opposed to mentioning that next life stage. Is it, then, that they feel that getting married is a less iffy proposition than having children is? Or that they don't want to imply that children should necessarily be on the agenda? Or that they don't have to be on the agenda right away? Whatever it was, I appreciated that. I am pretty sure the young couple did too.
To be fair, the rabbi who officiated at the wedding the next day did mention children ("when you are ready"), but I felt that was ok since she spent the previous many minutes talking about the many things that make the newlyweds good together and for each other, knows them very well, and, it could be deduced, knows that they do, some day, want children.
The subject of this post, though? People who have no shame? That, my dears, would, somewhat predictably, be both sets of parents and, maybe less predictably, one other person. The parents, in their toasts. Our parents (mom, to be more precise) wished them children, though almost as an afterthought at the end of their toast, and his parents (mom, again) wished them many children, much more prominently in the toast. It's ok-- you can let out your collective groan now. Some of us did, in real time.
Care to guess who that one other person is? Ok, how about this-- I will tell you, only a few lines down. And then I will rely on the honor system for you to tell me in the comments whether you guessed it. Ok? ok.
It was Monkey. She found a couple of our friends signing the guest book, and wanted to know what they were up to, and whether she was allowed to do that too. Here for your weekday amusement is her note, taking off the idiosyncratic family salutation and fixing her guess-and-go spelling, though it wasn't too bad:
Good luck with your happy life and your children.
Like I said, no shame.