“Huhmp,” he says, holding his arms up and asking for help scaling the ladder-like side of the couch or chair or the bathroom cabinet. “Huhmp,” he says with an accompanying nod, a statement of what you will freely offer, not a question about what you are willing to give. We hold his hands and he leads us where he wants to go, walking vertically or horizontally as his whim dictates, his tucked head and body toboggan-like as he races up a ladder of wicker.

Perhaps we, his trainers, are too slow. He leaves our assistance behind to complete the circuit himself.

Hold the arm of the chair; step up; lean forward; mash your head into the seat of the chair, catapult-like, to launch the rest of your body forward. Rise from the chair and climb across the other arm and onto the table. Stand. Perhaps climb to the top of the record player atop the table and stand, back pressed against the bookcase, and smile in triumph, surveying your world from a great height. Descend to the table top. Stand at the edge, looking like someone about to plungeĀ into a swimming hole on a hot day. Listen to the admonishment to sit and, for a moment, obey something beyond your ambition and personal drive. Sit or squat at the table’s edge. Scoot or slide to the floor, face-forward or on your belly. Save the plunge for later.

Smile in triumph again.

Do not rest on your laurels.

Back to the beginning, and begin again.

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