So, this year, he came to shul with his stuffed Torah for Simchas Torah dancing. One of the happiest moments that I had during the dancing was watching him, with his stuffed Torah, dancing happily with a huge smile on his face, as a group of six to ten year olds danced around him. It was very heartwarming to see. Very often, kids that age can be very cruel to someone who is different, but they made him feel like he was the center of the world as he davened with his Torah. Seeing that the other kids chose (even if only for a short dance) to make him feel special really warmed my heart.
I found that it's very heartbreaking to see *very* young kids who stay in shul for yizkor.
It's interesting where little theological battles will break out. During one of the hakafos on Simchas Torah night, a group of Chabad bochrim came into our shul and began dancing. As it happened, the song that was being sung at the time was "Olam Habah is a gutta zach..." The Chabad bochrim started singing it too, but in a slightly different version. So it went, with the rav emphasizing his version and the Chabad group emphasizing theirs. No harsh words (or any words other than the song) were said, no one made any untoward gestures and no one made any faces, but make no mistake, there was a subtle little battle being played out.
One of the saddest things I heard over Yom Tov: shvartzes have no relationship to HaShem. This from a little kid.
At home, we try very hard to drill manners into our kids... especially table manners. Yet, there are times that they fail and forget something. But it's nice to know that when we go to someone's house for a Yom Tov meal, they can act like perfectly civilized gentlemen and ladies. Good job kids! I'm proud of you.