I bought a basketball for the first time ever. I am grateful for Rocket, who begged to play basketball, much like how he asks to play any sport he learns of, and who is now on a team. He had a skills evaluation last weekend, requiring that he enter a gym filled with kids, none of whom he knew. They rotated as a group among various skills stations, where it was clear to me that this may be the one area where the dirt, trees, sand, and water of the hippie school has a disadvantage. Rocket was surrounded by kids who go to schools with paved playgrounds. Paved playgrounds - a giant blacktop with basketball hoops, and painted hopscotch outlines - depress me, but they do turn out practiced and more skilled basketball players. Rocket wasn't bothered by not knowing a soul, nor was he bothered by the fact that they all had better skills. The kid has confidence in himself.
Rocket will have a chance to practice some over Thanksgiving, so I bought him a basketball of his own. I took it outside to take a picture, where I was reminded of the joy of living on a hill. I put the ball down, and it started rolling, picking up steam as it headed downward, then bouncing as it went down the steps. Luckily the garden prevented it from clearing the retaining wall. He won't be practicing here.