Shana Tova 5778

Today being the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we went to shul as a family.

(No, don’t be shocked that I’m on the computer. :p )

Granted, the Monster’s school is closed today for the holiday, more perhaps a function of the number of observant staff than the student body.  It’s slated to be open again tomorrow, and he’ll go to school for his therapies then.  R’s school doesn’t close for the holidays, but he has an excused absence.

And this year, we decided to not just lurk in the quiet room… Continue reading

Time to Begin Again

Monster at shul, Simchat Torah, 2016As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we’ve started the Monster with Hebrew school at our shul.  He’s had some basic “religious school” through an after-school program at his regular school, but this year was time for us to get a little more serious with it.  He’s not had any objections to it so far, and the teachers have been telling us that he’s doing alright.

But part of the goal is also getting him more comfortable with coming to the building and being around celebrations, and… well, Simchat Torah is one of the easier times for him to be involved. Continue reading

One Little Candle

Hanukkah’s ending tonight, but I’m considering it a victory so far.

It’s not that I think that the Monster understands what the holiday is about, or that he looks forward to the holiday coming through.  Or that he’s really getting the blessings down in a manner that’s going to survive to next year’s recitation.

No, this year’s victory is that he’s not trying to blow out the candles. Continue reading


Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s full of traditions.

I grew up with all the usual trappings for the holiday, the turkey, dressing, cranberries and the like. And in my own family, we have a few more of our own – of getting up to watch the Macy’s Parade in our pajamas, while we have french toast… Continue reading

His Own Take On It

My company does a lot for Halloween every year.  It’s our eVP’s favorite holiday – back when we were more concentrated in one spot, there was massive decorating of our areas, trick-or-treating in the office, things like that.  Since we got bigger, the celebration got moved out to a central location (though we’ll still have something in the office tomorrow – pizza and beer, though I’m missing the beer due to scheduling).  This year, our party was at The Cloisters, which is really just around the corner from our house.

For Trunk or Treat on Saturday, the Monster was a pirate – today, he was a cowboy to go along with R.  (Frankly, it’s an easier costume that has him fidgeting with it a heck of a lot less.)  But the fact of the matter is, he still really doesn’t ‘get’ Halloween. Continue reading

Trick or Treat

My wife belongs to the Baltimore Mommies, a group for mothers here locally that’s associated with a national network.  Somehow, she got roped into doing a Trunk or Treat thing, which I’m perfectly okay with… because it seems to me to be a good way to do trick-or-treat for a child with Autism.

But of course, it also highlights things to consider with the mixing of the two things. Continue reading

Apples and Honey

Today was the second day of Rosh Hashanah for 5775.

This year, in Baltimore, the city’s public schools were open for the first day of the holiday, meaning that the Monster was in class.  The wife arranged for R to have a playdate with a friend from nursery school, and so… we actually got a day to sit in our actual seats in the congregation for a change.  (Well, as much as ‘we’ could, given that my wife’s vocal ensemble was performing with the cantor.)

However, today was a professional development day in Baltimore City’s schools, and we ended up with both children coming with us to synagogue. Continue reading

Cinnamon Bobcat

As another year’s High Holy Days starts to grow closer, obviously our thoughts start to turn back towards how to deal with the Monster and participation at synagogue.

(Now, my thoughts don’t just turn to this because we got our tickets for services on Saturday, but also because I had another occasion to be gabbai’ing, and because my in-laws were being honored for their fortieth wedding anniversary, my whole family came with me.)

We’re fortunate at our synagogue, as I’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions, to have a quiet room that’s well-situated so that parents can handle small children who aren’t up to participating in the services directly without missing the opportunity themselves to pray.  Because the Monster is… unpredictable, we tend to migrate immediately there, rather than trying to get seated in the main sanctuary where he might disturb folks if he starts making noise. Continue reading