The Washington Times - April 29, 2009, 08:25PM

Spring is on us as well as end of the year school activities – including prom. In a small school as in many small schools across the midwest,this brings prom. Most of the community turns out to watch the promenade every season. Who is driving what, who is wearing what, etc… Generally the biggest tractor or sprayer is the most popular vehice of choice. It is really quite an event, emceed by the same local favorite every year, because well, it just wouldn’t be prom if it wasn’t.

The students invite the teachers as well as school board members and anyone outside the school they consider a special guest.

This year as I sat and looked upon this year’s juniors and seniors, it seemed as if the time has gone by even faster than the year before. My oldest son graduated last year, and this year I will watch a batch of his cousins and friends say goodbye as well.

They have no idea what life has in store for them yet. Some may move on and away from home and others, like me, may choose to build lives here – with others like me.

This line of thought is what prompted the conversation at the staff table at which I was sitting. One staff member’s son is a senior this year and had just played in the conference senior’s all-star game. Her son is 5’10 inches tall. Not a giant by any means, but not a tiny boy either. At that all-star game, he was one of the shortest boys in the game.

 My own 5’10” son -–the tallest in my household — noticed this “trend” a couple of years ago. In our area, we tend to be people of  shorter, or “average” stature. I only had one answer for him. I told him then, only half jokingly, as I did the table I was dining with on prom night – unless we stop procreating amongst ourselves and brought in some tall, fresh meat, we were bound to continue populating our area with average-sized people.

Simple genetics.

Looking around the tables of friends — some family— at prom last weekend was proof enough. The couple next to me—both graduates of our alma mater. My husband and myself—both grads and me being only  5’5 and him 5’7 — although my husband claims 5’ 8’’ — I have my doubts. At the next table was my husband’s cousin, also homegrown, but at least six-feet tall, sitting next to his 5‘4” tall wife.
Among the kids, my freshman son was enjoying his first prom night and with him were kids of friends I had grown up with and several cousins on several different branches of his family tree.

So, as you can see, while we reap the benefits of watching each other’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow up and seeing a little bit of each other in them as they grow, a drawback may be unless we branch out a bit more…

…we will never likely raise a team of basketball -dunking phenoms.