One of the best parts about being around family when you're younger, is being able to sit back and watch the older family members interact. You can see you parents talking to people their age, grandparents are holding their grandkids while simultaneously annoying their kids, and aunts and uncles are generally doing things that your parents would rather you didn't see. For me it was eye opener, because I always knew where I stood in my household because it was just me, my brother, my mother and my father. But when the extended family came around, whether that was on my mother or father's side, I realized that I had an entire army of family at my disposal.
Then you have moments like last week at my grandfather's funeral, when you realize that are fewer people making up that buffer between young and old. Grandparents are moving on to glory, the aunts and uncles that come around are moving a little slower, and the ones who don't come around are trying to hide that very same thing. Parents are weighed down by the burden of grieving or looking after their parents. Older family members start heaping a more responsibility on you, and the life lessons they have to offer seem to be more substantive and plentiful. And then, as if magic was involved, there are all these younger cousins around who ask millions of questions, and refer to you Uncle or Cousin Rashad, and you look around wondering if they are really addressing you. The shit is weird.
I don't know.. when your family is on facebook, or in contact with you via text or phone calls, you realize everyone is getting old(er), and younger family members are sprouting up like weeds. But it isn't until you see them face-to-face, and fellowship in a familiar spot, that you realize just how much things are changing. It isn't scary and it certainly doesn't add to my growing grey hair count, it is just sobering.
Enough of that morose talk..if you have a few dollars, go out and buy the new offering by the Robert Glasper Experiment. He usually plays jazz, but for this release he veers off a bit, and it is great. Guest stars include Erykah Badu, Bilal, Mint Condition, Mos Def and Ledisi. Here's Ledisi: