The Price We Pay For Happiness...

The telephone rang, breaking the monotonous sound of the steamer, as my wife scrubbed the kitchen floor. She picked up the receiver and politely replied, 'Hello.'

'This is Visa, we are calling regarding some questionable activity on your account. We see that you have several closely timed iTunes purchases occurring, that seemed quite large, and rather questionable. Have you recently made any purchases on iTunes?'

'I don't think so...' my wife answered, thinking of any recent receipts that we may have received in an email.

The voice in the phone proceeded, '...two purchases were authorized, and a third was declined because it appeared suspicious.'

Just then Emma was heard shouting from upstairs, 'Mom, Ethan's downloading a bunch of movies on iTunes!'

'Oh, my gosh,' my wife shouted as she ran up the stairs with phone in hand. Arriving at the computer there was Ethan squatting on the chair, calm as he could be, intently reading the images on the screen.

'Mom, I bought a movie on iTunes!' he said proudly.

My wife returned to the voice on the phone and said, 'I'm sorry, my son apparently got on the computer and was downloading them.  He has autism, I don't now how he figured this out. Ugh! I'm so sorry.'

'No problem, we recognized it as suspicious and just wanted to confirm. Again we declined payment on the last purchase. You may want to call Apple and explain this and see what they can do for you.'

'Thank you, Oh my gosh, again, I'm so sorry.' She then hung up and called me. I wasn't able to talk, but quickly understood her brief explanation. 'I'll take care of it when I get home,' I said and we quickly hung up.

When I arrived home I walked upstairs to the computer and checked the iTunes history. There they were the three purchases. Two showed paid in full the last showed declined. I checked on the computer and saw that we had indeed downloaded those movies so I reauthorized the purchase.

I walked in to where Ethan was and asked, 'Hey buddy, what happened?'

'Dad, did you see it?' he said proudly. He stood up, his feet spread apart, placed his hands on his hips then broke out in a giant grim, said 'Hey Dad!' and raised his eyebrows up and down in unison. It looked something like this . . .

This was his famous 'I'm proud of myself' pose! After striking the pose, his young-man-voice crackled and screeched, 'I bought movies on iTunes!'

'Yes, you did,' as I smiled and simply walked away. 

What else could I say? Anything would have dashed his pride, and besides that it wasn't like he hurt somebody. Besides we can change the password, and make sure this doesn't happen again, but I just couldn't harm this proud moment in his life. He, on his own, had bought movies - and not just any movies, good movies, including some classics.

I didn't have the heart to be mad.

Some days happiness seems expensive, like when he cut the tips off all the cell phone chargers, other times it requires deep pressure hug therapy, or a few yoga poses. Then there are those days it is simply free

So, what was the price we paid for happiness today?

$122.62 (tax included)


  1. I love it. One day I got off the phone with insurance or someone and walked into the front room to find my son with a kitchen knife and our recently acquired (badly needed for indoor regulation) exercise trampoline completely dismantled in about 50 pieces, with each loop carefully cut off. It was ruined, and I just said, "Oh, I am so sad, What were you doing?" My son proudly responded... "I made a basketball hoop for my ball--and it was a perfect size for his large therapy ball!


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