It’s March Madness 2013, and in the Hamlin household, that means bracket war.

I disclose:  I have no idea which team is capable of what this year.  I didn’t do any research.  I just made picks based on teams I know had done well before.  (I might have also taken a peek at President Obama’s bracket.  He seems a good a person as any to blatantly steal ideas from.)

March Madness also means less sleep for all of us me, as we sit up together watching just as much basketball as we can stand.  In my case, that’s not nearly as much as the Hamlin boys.  But I can hold my own until 8:30pm.  That’s right, 8:30!  We Hamlin gals need our beauty butt kicking rest. Natalie retires to her play space or Puppy Pal books even before the first quarter of the first game of the afternoon ends.  I, being the elder, try to stick it out until, oh, around halftime of the post-dinner game.

The reason I stay and “watch”?  The camaraderie with the boys!

Our sons could not be more different from each other in the ways they communicate.  Garrett never wastes a word, sometimes goes hours without talking to us at all, and rarely, if ever, extrapolates anything.  Case in point:

Me: Garrett, if you could pick any meal to have as your last meal on earth, with no limitations at all, what would you choose?

Garrett:  Chicken.

Luke, by comparison, is downright verbose.  One might find oneself thinking of icecreambuttercupscowtippingmaplesyrupapplepiedinosaursintutus while Luke is telling a story.  Of course, one might not.  One might simply awaken from one’s snooze, wipe drool from one’s chin and keep on listening.  He’s like one of those old Mainers you hear in the coffee shop in the morning taking his sweet time telling a story you just know he’s told four dozen times before, making it just a little bit juicier every telling.  That’s Luke.  He’s an old geezer stuck in an 11 year old’s body.  And, like those same old men, he does not care one bit if you’re actually listening to him.  He just keeps right on talking.

But during March Madness games, we’re all in one big, loud, yelly conversation.  And it’s relatively equally attended, though I must say I do a lot of shouting “yeah!” and “I know, right!?” because I don’t really know anything at all.  I mean, I know the game of basketball, but when I say I could not care less about who the heck wins this thing, I am not lying.

I care only that I’m there with my boys.  And I actually think that the funnest part for me is that we all accept it’s just a facade.  I know this because when Garrett told me that Pitt had lost (a game I was WATCHING at the time) and I answered “they did?  That messes up my entire bracket!” he just put me in a headlock, gave me a noogie and mumbled “love ya, mom” which is more than he’d said to me all day.