Sips of Wine from the Grapevine Holiday Edition – My Christmas Fidget Spinner
by Jo Elizabeth Pinto
It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and we’re gearing up for all the amazing holidays ahead.
Soon The Writer’s Grapevine Holiday Extravaganza Dec – Jan Edition will be out. Until then, our contributors are sharing their tantalizing ‘Sips of Wine’ with you.
Today, author proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto has a cheery tale.
It’s got a nose of sweetness, and a rich body of loving flavor just waiting for you to enjoy.
Let’s hear it for Jo!
Two days before Christmas, we got a sudden snowstorm in Colorado. The storm was brief, but it left behind enough snow to cover the sidewalks with a few inches of white fluff. When the sun reappeared, my nine-year-old daughter took the initiative and bundled herself up in a long-sleeved shirt and a fleece-lined sweatshirt, a pair of jeans and some waterproof snow pants, three pairs of socks, high boots, a winter coat, mittens, and a neon pink knitted stocking cap with a pom-pom on top. Nearly as round as she was tall, she hustled out the door, ready to earn a few dollars shoveling sidewalks for the neighbors on our block.
“I’ll give you five bucks to do our front walk between the house and the street,” I offered, afraid she might not find other takers. “You need to clear the walk along the street, and the brick path that goes to where I take the dog out. Never mind the driveway—your dad’s car will pack that snow right down when he comes home.”
It turned out two other neighbors let my daughter shovel for them as well.
“Your girl’s a fine young entrepreneur,” Dick, the kind old man from across the street, told me later. “You bet I’ll support that.”
When my daughter had been gone for well over an hour, I started to get concerned. I had just reached for my coat, intending to venture out and search for her, when she burst through the door on a gust of frigid air. She had a small plastic bag in her hand. I figured she had gone to Seven-11 at the end of the street, eager to spend her hard-won earnings on candy.
She threw off her wet wrappings and marched straight to her art shelf. For the rest of the afternoon, she busied herself with glue, scissors, and who knew what, all the while gleefully hinting that I was going to love the present I would find under the tree on Christmas morning.
“It cost me ten bucks, Mom!” she finally blurted out, unaware of the social taboo that generally stops people from telling others how much has been spent on their Christmas gifts.
When our little girl had half sweet-talked and half strong-armed us out of bed on the big day, her dad and I put on our bathrobes, made coffee, and settled ourselves by the Christmas tree. Surprisingly, before our excited kid opened a single gift of her own, she dropped a small tissue paper package into my lap. I peeled off a mile and a half of Scotch tape and unwrapped a fidget spinner. The thumb grip was covered with yellow sequins that had been glued firmly in place.
“There’s a picture of Aqua-Man® under the sequins,” my daughter said. “He was all they had at Seven-11, and you had to have a fidget spinner because you always spin mine while you think of what to write about on your computer. So I had to buy Aqua-Man® with my shoveling money and find a way to cover him up since he’s a boy and you’re a girl. Girls don’t do boy superheroes, you know. I tried yellow paper, but then it wouldn’t spin, so sparkles were the only way. I picked yellow because you like the sun so much. If you could see, I think you’d like the color of sunshine.”
I hugged and kissed my little girl, who I decided right then must have the biggest heart in the state of Colorado.
This story appears in my mothering memoir, Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark. To find out about this book and my others, please look me up on Amazon.
About the author…
Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s when federal laws allowed disabled students to be educated with their peers. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching disabled students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances these days as an editor and a braille proofreader.
As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.
Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband and their teenage daughter. Their family also includes Pinto’s guide dog Spreckles, a poodle/Maltese mix called Leo, and an aging family cat who answers to the name Sam-I-Am when he feels like it.