On February 9, 2019, we celebrated our older son Miles’s bar mitzvah. We chose Temple Emanu-El for many reasons: Our friends belonged and liked it, religious school was one day a week, everyone seemed nice, and a family could have their bar mitzvah service with only their child. This was a relief to me, as I didn’t have to worry about our family dynamic impacting another family’s experience. You see, our younger son Matthew lives with autism, and living his daily life is hard enough. He has trouble eating, sleeping, and focusing; being part of a group activity is always challenging for him. Going to Temple and being part of his brother’s bar mitzvah — or having one of his own — was something that my husband Evan and I really didn’t have time or energy to think about. However, on February 9, during Miles’s beautiful and special Havdalah service with Rabbi Davidson and Cantor Glazman, that thought changed, and I have my 13-year-old son to thank for that. Click here to read more.