It turns out that my brother and I might actually be related after all.

Yesterday was Bright Sunday at my church. It was the first time we had ever celebrated Bright Sunday, which is the day (usually celebrated in Eastern Orthodox churches) when we dress in bright colors and celebrate with holy laughter the miracle of Christ rising from the dead. This website says that, “The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. ‘Risus paschalis – the Easter laugh,’ the early theologians called it.” Our pastor explained it in a similar way. It reminded me of the party that Lauren Winner talked about in Girl Meets God, where everyone met on the Monday after Easter and brought whatever it was that they gave up for Lent so that they could all celebrate together.

In our case, we just wore Hawaiian shirts and other bright colors. It was one of those things where I wanted to tell visitors, “We don’t always dress quite so silly.”

After church, we went out to eat to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Because it was cold and I didn’t want to be dressed like an idiot all day, I had brought along a change of clothes. And by “change of clothes” I mean “my Davidson sweatshirt.” That’s right! I own a Davidson sweatshirt. Because my brother went there. I am totally legit. For the record, Mike put on his UNCG sweatshirt. SoCon represent! (First Mike and I were eerily matchy with our Hawaiian shirts. Then we were eerily matchy with our sweatshirts. We were having one of those adorable couple days. I am not all that comfortable with the matchy matchy.)

While we were on our way to the restaurant, I called my brother to tell him that I was wearing the sweatshirt he bought me in honor of his alma mater’s big game. He said that, in fact, he had worn his own Davidson sweatshirt to church. (I would have worn mine to church if it hadn’t been Bright Sunday. Too bad the sweatshirt is gray. Later on in the day, I saw that my mom’s Facebook status was that she was wearing her Davidson sweatshirt. We were a whole family of matchy matchy!)

But that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is that Davidson (and, you know, Stephen Curry) managed something that I thought was impossible. They got my brother to care about college basketball. Now, I love me some college basketball. March is a wonderful, wonderful time of year. Joseph, however, isn’t all that big on organized sports and that kind of athletic competition. Not that he’s not athletic – he did tae kwon do, he ran track and cross country. He just doesn’t care for the way that sports stars are idolized and overpayed. And he especially doesn’t like how people tie their importance and mood to a team they have nothing to do with. We have had a lot of discussions about this, and while I see his point, I do truly love the game of basketball. I love competition and rivalry. It’s one of those things where we mostly just agree to disagree. So when Davidson kept winning those games, I didn’t call him, because I thought he’d be like, “Well, okay, thanks for letting me know, but you know I don’t really care.” I called my mom instead, and we squealed excitedly about the games, just like we always do.

But then on Sunday, my brother and I were talking about a game! Of basketball! He even knew that, if his team won, they would be playing my team! This is some serious progress, people. You need to root for Davidson in the future so that he and I can continue this emotional closeness.

In all honesty, I was kind of heartbroken at the end of the game. I know that my brother wasn’t deeply invested in the outcome, but it was fun to watch him have something like that to be excited about. I know that people all across the country were rooting for Davidson, but at the same time, it felt very personal, to know, as Mike and I were standing in the middle of the living room watching the last play, that my brother was watching the game at a bar with other Davidson grads, that my mom was watching at her house. All of us in our matching sweatshirts.

I didn’t call him, because I knew he’d say, “Oh, well, no big deal.” But I would have called if they had won. Because I knew he was watching.

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