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Bump, Bump, Bump
Copyright © 2009 by Richard A. Grossman, Ph.D.  ·  All Rights reserved  ·  E-Mail: ragrossman@voicelessness.com
“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.  It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming down-stairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.”
 
You may remember the first lines of Winnie the Pooh.  I read the book to my first grade teacher, Miss Wooley, a heavy set, matronly woman in her 60’s, who at the time seemed ancient to me.    That summer she sent a postcard reminding me how much she loved Winnie the Pooh—or as I secretly understood it, how much she loved me.  Although it disappeared sometime after I left for college, this postcard, along with Ricky’s Marble Bag, sewn for me by Mrs. Brush, my favorite babysitter, are my two early childhood treasures.

Miss Wooley listened to me.  I mattered to her.  I felt special in a way that I never had before.

Often I wonder why this is—why Miss Wooley was the first person who listened.  But “why” questions are exceptionally difficult, and we often get swayed by our own answers, forgetting that human beings and the world in general are terrifically complicated.

Still, the answer lies partially in bump, bump, bump.  Not the beginning of Edward Bear’s story, but the start of my mother’s:   her parents took long car rides over railroad ties when she was in utero, trying to induce a spontaneous abortion.  They were unhappy about having a third child.  Once my mother was born, my grandparents like all decent folk, tried to hide their feelings of being burdened.  But these feelings are inevitably communicated,
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