This past Saturday was opening day for the basketball season, and Toby’s team played their first game. I wish I had a picture, because the height difference between Toby and every single other boy on his team is at least 12 inches. The other team was similarly height challenged – so much so that, at the overtime tip-off, the other team’s players stood on the side facing Toby, figuring that he would get the ball first. Rightly so, as it turned out. I don’t know if anyone kept stats for the game, but Toby made a lot of rebounds, as well as a couple of baskets. I’m so proud of him, I could burst. Toby was a little anxious that he hadn’t played well, but Denver pointed out that, a player is considered important to the team based on whether or not he is missed when he isn’t playing. Considering the rebounds they missed when Toby wasn’t playing, clearly he is important. I don’t know if Denver realized it, but that was the absolute best thing he could have said to Toby, and he smiled all afternoon.
I told you all of that so that I could tell you this: Toby’s coach called Sunday afternoon asking that I bring a copy of Toby’s birth certificate to the next practice. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this. The sign-up sheets usually ask for a copy of the player’s birth certificate, but I’ve never had to actually produce one. The teams are organized based on age, and Toby is right at the edge. Hopefully, it’s just a formality and this will be the last any of us have to hear about it, but I can’t help wondering…. Did the other team complain? Did someone question whether or not he was too old to be playing on the 9U team? Do people actually think that the team is so set on winning everything that they would bring in a ringer? And how many times am I going to have to show his birth certificate? Maybe the kids in Alabama just need to eat more vegetables.