Saturday, June 06, 2009

"I Want an Oompa-Loompa NOW!"

A couple of weeks ago, my brother, Jeff, called me while I was at work.

Actually, his cell phone called me. Jeff had nothing to do with it.

Somehow, he unknowingly hit what I'm guessing is the Stephen speed dial button on his cell phone, and the timing was perfect.

It gave me a sort of "reality radio" glimpse into the work my brother does every day.


Jeff is a social worker. Since high school, Jeff has always loved working with and helping young people. Children living with learning or physical disabilities, those who have been physically or sexually abused, any and all kids. He spends his own money to buy them snacks, games, crafts. He takes them out for meals at their favorite restaurants when they're well behaved.

As a friend of his once said to me when Jeff was out of the room, "Your brother has a huge heart. He takes care of so many people and we all love him very much."

But I knew that. I knew how much he cares for the young people he works with, but I didn't quite understand how incredibly gifted he is as a social worker.

When I picked up the phone, I heard this student of Jeff's screaming. Then immediately, I heard my brother speak to him; he talked through the child's tantrum. Calmly, but firmly, he convinced the boy to lower his voice, think about his outburst and realize the possible consequences of that behavior if it continued.

I was stunned at Jeff's skill. I mean, the child seemed to go from spoiled, snotty Veruca Salt to sweet, loving Charlie Bucket after just a few words from my brother. Very few words.

The whole exchange happened in less than a minute.

Smooth and skillfull, fast and efficient - - that's the Rader boys. Well, Jeff anyway...

I was, and still am, amazed by my brother.

Happy Birthday, Jeff.

10 comments:

EMikeGarcia said...

You aren't going to be satisfied until every gay man in the world is in love with your brother, are you?

Prospero said...

Happy Birthday, Jeff. It takes a special person to do the work you do. You are blessed for doing so, as are those you work with. Of course, I expect nothing less from your brother, my dear. You're pretty special, yourself.

Jake said...

I really am amazed and your writing. I really just adore all your entries.

Your brother sounds like an amazing person. I always admired social workers for what they do.

Pearl said...

Wow. Your brother is really attractive.

Like you. :-)

A friend of my brother borrowed his phone, which dialed me as he and some random woman got drunk in a car and had sex. This was on my landline, which wouldn't hang up. I had to set the phone done, come back, pick it up, yell for him to hang up so I could dial out.

It was horrible. I was forced to listen to their inane banter and foreplay for over an hour.

Forced.

Pearl

cb said...

all that and he's cute. I hate him.

:-)

Java said...

He is deliciously cute.
I know that kind of tantrum. I know the calm but firm voice to use in that situation. I've done that with Sproing many times.

A belated Happy Birthday to Jeff.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Very cool on Jeff! Those Rader boys are talented in many ways. Silver tongues you both have...

Anatomicsd said...

Well...we like you smooth and skillful but never fast and efficient.

Your brother might be a saint...which is why he and I would never get along no matter how cute he is.

Gyaos97 said...

It seems like I can recall meeting your brother just one time a million years ago in Knoxberry. Jeff has turned into a real cutie and, like his brother, he is a talented, sweet soul.

Wonder Man said...

that's cute