Summer’s Over Let The Season Begin!
At the start of summer I always say “thank goodness it’s here and we can have a break from hockey.” Well time flies and before you know it summer is almost over and it’s time to get ready for another season of hockey. It’s time to open your home to Billeting.
By mid August we are starting to get excited about our Billet Son’s arrival. As much as I love summer we also look forward to hockey but not winter of course!
Are We Doing The Right Thing?
The day finally arrives and today, is the day we meet our new Billet Son. Now the time of his arrival is here and we are very nervous. Many questions go through our minds. Have we done the right thing? Should we be Billets? Will he like us? Will we like him? Will he like our dog? What will his parents be like? Oh gosh, hope we aren’t getting in over our heads. There are so many personalities and not every Billet Son is a match for his new Billet Parents.
The Day Of Our Billet Son’s Arrival
The assistant coach called and told us that our Billet Son and his parents would be arriving around 2 in the afternoon. By 1:30 I was pacing the floor and my husband had to tell me to go and sit down or I was going to wear out the carpet. At 2:00 I was at the door looking out, just so I could get a glimpse of him but there wasn’t anyone there. By 2:30 I was a basket case pacing, looking out the window, I couldn’t sit, where did they get to? Finally I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water and the doorbell rang. I almost dropped the glass.
At the door stood this very young, very tall good looking boy and behind him two very anxious looking people who I assumed were his parents. Here stood our new Billet Son. I can’t explain the feeling I had at that minute, butterflies and excitement. “Welcome” I said, “Come on in we have been looking forward to your arrival.” “Hi” he said my name is Jeff” “Well Jeff” I said “Welcome to our home and to our city.” He came inside along with his parents. JP (my husband) spoke up and introduced himself and the parents in turn introduced themselves. This time of arrival is always a tad awkward as the parents are sizing the billets up, the billets are sizing the billet player and his parents up. Everyone wants to make sure they are doing the right thing and trying to get to know each other in a very short time.
Meeting under these circumstances and in this atmosphere can lead to many questions about each other. The parents want to know that they are leaving their son in capable hands with people they feel comfortable about. We as Billets want to make sure that we like his parents and will be able to get along with them in case we need to call them. On the other hand we didn’t want to burden them with a lot of questions and scare them off. We would have lots of opportunities later to get to know them better.
After introductions it is time to show him his room. Let him and his parents get him settled in and then bring them back to the family room to get to know them and discuss any questions they might have.
They return to the family room and we try to get to know them. They tell us about their family and we in turn tell them about ours. We chat about hockey, of course and their sons history, who he has played for the type of player he is etc. They seem like a very nice couple, anxious because they are virtually leaving their son with total strangers.
This is a very traumatic time for the Billet Son’s parents, especially his Mother. She will have a hard time letting go and leaving her baby with total strangers, even if he is over 6′ tall!
Finally it is time for them to leave as they have a two hour drive ahead of them. We say our goodbyes and they walk out with their son to say their goodbyes to him.
Leaving their son behind and having a long drive ahead can’t be easy. I knew his Mother was heartbroken and at that moment I thought I will make sure I take good care him.
The Moment Of Truth
The moment of truth has arrived, we are now Billet Parents with a total stranger living in our home. We have now become his parents away from home. We have made a commitment to this job of Billeting. How will we all cope? How will it go? What will Billeting really be like? We will find out soon enough I am sure. All we cared about right now was making sure he was comfortable with us and his new surroundings. I smiled and said to myself “this is my new Billet Son, let the Billeting experience begin!”