Louis Fastuca became our first baby sitter by generating a simple demand. He played with my first son while my wife worked around the house. His business model was simple – tell me what time you need me and what you need me to do, and I’ll be there. Louis was reliable, dependable and my 2 year old enjoyed playing with an older boy.
After a year, Louis now had double-duty with my new born son. The model was still the same – fast, reliable service with a friendly smile. He just got to play with 2 kids instead of 1.
On the weekends, I started to challenge Louis alittle more with some of my projects – 15 yards of mulch, gardening, pulling weeds, staining the deck. We worked side by side together and talked about school, hockey and eventually college. He was growing into a really strong kid, both physically and mentally. Eventually, he graduated from high school and went on to college.
On the weekends, he would come home and he would still take the time to stop by and say hello. He had changed, however, and he felt like he did not fit in at college. He was struggling with school and wasn’t sure what to do. One day, he stopped by with a tell-tale crew cut and told me he had joined the Army. I was proud of his decision, although his family was understandably concerned.
A year had passed until I saw him again. This time, Louis was no longer a kid – he was as solid as a rock and looked more like a body builder. He was a Ranger in the Army. and his entire demeanor had changed – he was happy and engaged and loved what he was doing. He told me stories about he had become a runner like me, only his times were much faster. He picked both my sons up in each hand and twirled them above his head. It still amazed me that he would balance his demands with his friends, his family and everything else he had going on to simply say hello to a neighbor.
Another year would pass, and Louis would show up at the door one more time. He knew that my wife and I had just adopted our daughter from Russia and he wanted to meet her. Without hesitation, he picked her up and held her. At the time, he also had a Russian girlfriend, so my wife gave him a translation book. He wanted to impress her by a picking up a few words of Russian!
He had found his place in the world – he loved what he was doing and he had a strong mission. What started out as a simple mother’s helper had evolved into a very special relationship.
Unfortunately, Louis will not be knocking on my door any more.