Every July the entire family—my daughters, their husbands and children, my husband and I—all go to “The Conference.” For three nights and four days, we kick back at the Holiday Inn in Wrightsville Beach. We’re not usually people who stay in a hotel for a beach holiday, so the grandkids love the novelty of it. I love the maid service and restaurant.
My husband and daughters go to morning meetings related to the family business, and the rest of us hang out at the pool, the beach, the halls of the hotel, wherever the action is.
On the last night, the action is on the dance floor. After the final conference dinner, a DJ spins tunes for a couple of hours. A few grownups shuffle around to the occasional beach music song, but for the most part, it’s all about the kids. They aren’t one bit shy about showing off their moves. Or bugging their grandmas to dance with them.
This year Sammy, my ten-year-old grandson, insisted I be his partner for a slow dance. “Why don’t you ask Maddie?” I suggested, nodding at a bubbly little thing who’d been jumping all around to every song played.
“Geez, Grandma, she’s only nine,” he answered. So I danced with him. When I thought about it, I was glad he wanted me to. After all, before long he won’t have any problem dancing with a girl who’s only a year younger, and I’ll be on the sideline, yesterday’s meatloaf.
Maddie got a partner anyway. Charlie. He’s Sammy’s six-year-old brother and evidently didn’t mind dancing with a girl who was not only older but taller.
Eventually, I got to sit down while Sammy went all disco, “stayin’ alive,” with the new buddies he’d made at the conference. The boys of summer, possibly the next generation for a family business.