It’s Time To Get Ready To Billet
As a soon to be Billet Mom my summer is over. “How can that be?”, I ask myself “Where did it go?” It goes so fast and before you know it time has arrived to get ready for my Billet Son’s arrival.
Every year I have billeted I have made a promise to myself. After my billet son leaves I will get his room cleaned and ready for next season. Than all it will take is a quick vacuum and dusting, but I have never kept my promise. I have found that when he leaves it takes me a couple of days to gather my thoughts and get my emotions in check. It is very draining realizing that someone who was a big part of your life is gone from your home. Billet Mother withdrawal sets in. There are times you look forward to the day they will be leaving your home but when it actually arrives it is an eye opener. The Billet Son you cared for is now gone from your home, your life and will not be part of your daily activities. At times this is a tough pill to swallow. You think throughout the season that this day will be great and you will have your freedom. When it actually arrives it hits hard. After years of experience Billeting you would think I would be ahead of the game. However, I am usually found the day before his arrival scrambling to get his room ready.
Preparing for the arrival of your Billet Son and anticipating his arrival can be exciting. However, there are a few steps to being ready that I would like to share with you.
Preparing The Room
Give it a good cleaning from top to bottom including the baseboards and the drapes. An empty room is much easier to clean. A thorough cleaning is a must as a lot of these players have allergies. But Ladies I don’t really need to tell you how to clean, do I? I am just giving you a heads up on what should be done to get ready for the arrival of your Billet Son.
Just a word on drapes. If you have blackout drapes that is great. Most of these players will be napping in the day time especially on game day and need a dark room. Early on in Billeting I had a Mother who brought blackout drapes as her son could not sleep in a room with any light. This was something I hadn’t even thought about but my Billet Son’s room now has blackout drapes in it.
The Bed, Mattress and Extra Furniture
Make sure you have a comfortable bed for them to sleep in. A Queen size mattress is recommended but a full/double will also do. Single beds are not recommended as a lot of these guys could be over 6 feet tall.
Making sure you have a good mattress is very important. A mattress cover is a good idea as it helps to protect the mattress. These athletes usually sweat a fair bit so make sure you have one you can wash with the bedding.
Makeup the bed with freshly washed bedding. In most cases you won’t have to worry about a top sheet, they usually end up in the closet or on the floor. Most guys just like a bottom sheet and two or three nice blankets or comforters. Many times I have seen them curled up in a comforter, they do like to snuggle you know.
You don’t have to go crazy with furnishings. You just want him to have a nice comfortable room with the necessities. It is ultimately your decision what you have in the room. A bed, a dresser and a desk are the usual. Desks are actually becoming optional now as most will just sit on the couch or bed with their computer.
A nice comfortable recliner is great if you have the space. Sometimes they just want to sit and relax after a rough practice, game or even day at school. A recliner is great for recuperating in after an injury as well.
Some billets do not put a TV in their room and have only one TV in the house. They want their Billet Son socializing with them and joining them to watch TV. The only problem with this is that everyone has their own programs they like to watch. I do recall having a player that always joined me in the family room the same night every week to watch our favorite program together. Another Billet Son got up every Saturday morning and watched the re-run of the game from the night before. Some billets believe that putting a TV in their room gives them an excuse to stay in their room. It is entirely up to you what you choose to do in your home.
I am including this as pillows are a very important item in preparing for your new Billet. I do not buy the most expensive pillows on the market as pillows do soil. I am more inclined to buy pillows priced in the mid range. In other words not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. I cover them with a pillow protector and a pillow case. Both can be thrown in when you do the laundry. Another reason I don’t buy the most expensive pillows is that many times the player takes it on a road trip with him and forgets to bring it home. Also, I replace the pillows every season so I sure don’t want to be throwing out expensive ones. There goes your pillow, your pillow protector and your pillow case! It has happened to me several times. I let them know that if they have a favorite pillow they can bring their own.
You will need a laundry basket in the closet for his dirty clothes. Don’t expect too many clothes to make it to the basket though. I always provided a laundry basket and it seldom had any clothes in it. It always struck me as very strange as he wore something different every day but never had any dirty clothes! Oh yes and just a word of advice don’t try and pick out what are the dirty clothes in his room. You won’t be able to tell the dirty ones from the clean ones. at least that’s what it is like in most of the cases. I have now made it clear to them that if they want their laundry done they must place it in the basket and bring it to the laundry room. Some will do their own laundry, a bonus!
A good sized waste paper basket is a good idea. Make sure to line it with a plastic liner as these guys don’t seem to know you can’t put liquids in it. Again, make sure you ask them to bring their garbage out of their room and throw it in the container.
You will need to have hangers on hand as well. Even though they don’t really like hanging up their clothes they do need them to hang up their dress shirts and suits.
Preparing The Bathroom
Clean the bathroom that he will be using and put out fresh towels. Make sure there are extra rolls of toilet paper. You can supply soap if you like but some like to bring their own as they use a certain brand. If he is going to be sharing a bathroom with another family member make sure he has his own space for his stuff. A drawer or a section of the cupboard. It’s just nicer if he doesn’t have to take his toothbrush, toothpaste, shaver, shaving cream, shampoo etc. back into his room each day.
A little word of caution here for all billet families. Don’t go out and stock up the refrigerator, the freezer and your cupboards with tons of food before their arrival. Plan to do a big grocery shopping after you have met. This will save you from spending money and buying stuff they might not even like. Buy to satisfy their needs but keep in mind it doesn’t hurt them to try something new once in a while. Have them sit down with you and make a list. Preparing a list makes it easier to shop. Also, you can’t change all your eating habits to suit them. I only mention food here as it is such an important part of billeting. Get to know his likes and dislikes before you go grocery shopping. Read my article here on making lists.
Well, it looks to me like you have all your preparing done and are ready for the arrival of your billet son.
Don’t work too hard, have fun and enjoy your new family member.