Dashiell was around two and safely ensconced in his room, probably for the intended purpose of a nap (hah!). He was still a crib-sleeper at the time, and his crib was near a bookcase. We did not yet know this was a Bad Idea.
My mom, who was out in the living room, heard his little voice crying out "Mommy down! Mommy down!" She assumed he wanted out of his crib and went to retrieve him.
I think you can figure out where this story is going.
When she arrived in his room, his crib was empty! Then she heard his little voice crying out again, "Mommy down! Mommy down!" but it was coming from above my - I should point out, very short - Mommy's head. Mom looked up. Dashiell had climbed that bookcase all the way up to the ceiling.
My mom, no mountain climber, was also at the time extremely pregnant with A girl named Zelda (see? I told you I was sort of present at the time). So following him up the bookcase would be what we in the business call a Very Bad Idea.
How did Mommy eventually coax tiny trouble-making Dashiell down the bookcase? I have no clue. I never remember that part of the story. But I love the image of my brother with his beautiful blond curls climbing where he oughtn't and not realizing until too late that there's no way back down - a habit he perpetuated, incidentally, on a great many hikes we took throughout our childhood.
I don't really know how to end this post, except to say I am grateful. I am grateful for the time we had, and I am grateful to be a member of such a supportive and loving family. I hope she doesn't mind that I quote her, but my mom emailed me this morning, "may we think of him when our courage falters."
And maybe that's what I really meant to say, and wanted to say, with this story.