In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver writes "(potatoes) have a built-in rest period that is calendar-neutral, and until it's over the tubers won't sprout, period."
I think we're in a "built-in rest period" here at the Towers.
I realized the other day that my children can't be more than 5 feet away from me at any given time. This is not my idea. When I think they are busy and distracted I quietly leave the room to accomplish some task elsewhere in the house. Within 30 seconds I have two children next to me. And that made me realize that we have been wanting something that would do us (and our children) no good whatsoever.
The main complaint about having so many people living in one house is the inability to spread out. We've long discussed the necessity of moving the kids into a real room instead of keeping them in the wide spot in the hall they have always called home. This would mean they'd have space for toys and we might get something resembling a living room back. The problem is, they probably wouldn't spend any time in their room(s). They would still be sitting right on top of my head, leaving trails of toys in their wake.
Like the potatoes, my kids know when it's time to move. And this knowledge is connected to some (dare I say) divine plan. There is just not a dang thing we can do to shift the schedule of what is (without chemical treatment and genetic engineering). They will know when it is time to expand the range to, say, ten feet. And this will correspond to other seemingly unrelated activities and the accompanying growth/change/evolution. These are not unrelated after all: they are all part of one great clock-work whole.
Signs of spring are popping up all over outside and although it may not coincide with the evolution going on inside our walls, spring is a welcome reminder that everything is right on schedule. The flowers do always bloom. The tubers will get their wake-up call. And the beds will be ready.