I have a student with Asperger's Syndrome in my class. He is high-functioning and good-natured (as opposed to the student with the syndrome I taught last year, who was cranky and obstinate; different facets of the spectrum). His major trigger is when things get chaotic, which they did at lunchtime yesterday. He fled the room in tears, and I went after him. I checked a few of his typical retreats, and not finding him, I gathered he'd gone to the bathroom. When I went into the office, the office manager/guidance counselor/basketball coach (that "title" speaks volumes about our school!) wasn't at his desk. I gasped out, "I need a man!"
The director and assistant director burst out laughing and both responded, "I never thought I'd hear you say that!"
(The child was located and calmed quickly.)
This morning's Shabbat services at my shul included the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of two women. Our congregation has no lack of queer parents, but the children tend to be significantly younger. Indeed, it was the only the congregation's second queer Bar/Bat Mitzvah. And charmingly, it was quite like every other such event I've attended...overdressed relatives, and giggling overdressed teenagers (I suppose, when you are 13, where else can you wear elbow-length knitted multicolored gloves?).
This is the third week in a row I've made it to Saturday morning services. A friend teased me, "Oh, upping synagogue attendance around a simcha! (happy event)" and sure, that's part of it. Another part of it is that since our trip for my nephew's first birthday, we've really cleared our schedules. I am enjoying the calm, and the opportunity to strengthen my religious commitment, that has resulted.