Steady as she goes
She held the egg in her dye-stained hands. A crack, like a spider web, marred its surface. She'd been running with her handiwork when it slipped from her grasp and rolled under the table. I heard the tell-tale crunching of hardboiled against hardwood. She didn't realize it was damaged until she retrieved it.
I felt her suffering immediately.
She'd waited weeks for me to give the approval for the messy rite of Spring. She endured my stern looks as she overfilled the cups with colored water. She said a thousand "I'm sorrys" as splashes of blue and green and red and orange stain the floor.
She did her best to clean them up.
When she was finished she couldn't have been more proud of the pastel orbs if she'd laid them herself.
But as she held her precious mistake, her face took on an ambivalence I've never seen before. Her eyes were large and red-rimmed but stayed dry. Her lips were downturned, yet tight and unwavering. It was an emotion balanced on a razor thin moment. Everything in jeopardy of crashing down. It was sad mixed with study.
She steadied herself and the moment was over. She was solid and happy again.
"It's ok. ... It's still beautiful."