By Melanie Renault

If life has taught me anything it is that every time I utter this six word statement “This is all I can handle”, I will always be given more. I have also learned that I am strong and I can handle more. I do not want to but if necessary, I can. I have a very strong faith and I know without it I would be lost. Absolutely, utterly lost and I try to show this to my children but sometimes I know I miss the mark by leaps and bounds.

If our home could talk it would tell you a lot of really great stories. The Big Blue House would also tell you about many misunderstandings because of “literal interpretation”. Our home would sit you down with a nice cup of tea and or coffee (your choice) and regal in the many adventures that happen inside. It would tell you that it is very loud, VERY LOUD. Our children all talk by yelling to each other and to us. Our home would say it has heard “use your indoor voice” many times to no avail. Big Blue will tell you that most days start with opposition with our oldest and often times our youngest. H, Our daughter forever sounds grumpy and she screams quite often. She has a hard time expressing her emotions and she usually goes about it by seeming like the world is on her shoulders. She does not say I love you (only 3 times in her almost nine years.) It is kind of sad but she shows she loves us in other ways. I just have to learn to accept her as who she is.

Big Blue would tell you that Mom is sometimes a little overwhelmed. Our daughter has Alopecia; she has Psoriatic Arthritis and a few other medical concerns. As if the Autism was not enough for her to deal with. She was completely healthy until last March and it all happened very fast. It has been rough on everyone but we handle it. Finally, the Big Blue House will tell you that no matter how frustrating life is at times, it is also filled with a lot of laughs and quirks that make it alive. This morning five minutes before school my youngest son decides he does not want to go to “Ants go bowling day” (Anti-Bullying Day) and refuses to get dressed or do much of anything else. I am working with him and I hear my daughter scream, than cry. Her brother “accidentally” pushed her and she fell and cut her leg. She also ripped her pink pants which was devastating for her because today is Pink Day. We were late for the bus but the bus came to us.

Are there difficult times? Yes, just like anyone. Are there extra struggles as a family with Autism? You bet there are. Sometimes the noise level is just too much and I retreat upstairs for some serenity. I usually do not get it because for some strange reason the noise follows me. I guess I must be some type of Noise-Magnet.

Life is what you make it even if you are dealt a crap hand. So for all the yelling and miscommunication that occurs there are laughs and there is love. It may be shown in many different ways but it is love none the less. Just ask The Big Blue House.