Life On The Road, Three Years In.
During our five month rest in Austin, we took a little bit of time to reflect with our children about their last three years on the road, their dreams and desires as well as hardships.
Graciana, our 18 yr old, shared her desires to continue on with us, making music and pursuing her fashion & travel blog. We talked about her goals outside of The Hollands!, looking at higher education, trade school and/or continuing on as a professional musician. Ultimately, she has a deep desire to be in the music and fashion business but also recognized the gift of compassion and is open to exploring that more in the context of advocating for women’s issue, specifically in human rights and Sex Trafficking as well as healthcare.
There is no pressure however, and we know that it will all make sense when it’s suppose to. All of the time we’ve spent trying to figure out what her next step will be has been a struggle but no different from that of any other part of our journey. As we look back over the last three years of serendipity, provision and guidance, our faith has grown and we trust that it will all make sense for her as she continues to get ready to fly out on her own.
Banjo, our 13 yr old, has definitely morphed into a fantastic young man over the last 5 months in Austin. He’s grown physically about a foot and emotionally/spiritually his soul is being awakened. His time in Austin was a bit lonely due to the pace of everyone’s busy schedules but he did get to enjoy time every Sunday evening at Hope in the City’s youth group. The pinnacle of his time here involved attending his first youth retreat, which allowed him an opportunity to really get to know a few young fella’s as well as experience all the traditional fixings of a retreat including a shaving cream war, card games, Gaga Ball, and rope swinging into a river. He’s looking forward to getting back on the road and his wish is to save up for a Go-pro so he can start making videos of Skateparks across the country. He is also looking forward to playing summer festivals as those are his favorite venues.
As for homeschool, although Graciana has graduated she continues to seek wisdom and learns everyday. We have been pushing her beyond her comfort zone of being told how to do life into the practical application of doing life. For instance, she just got her temps and did all of the work on her own to acquire it. This has been something that she wanted for a long time and felt, per societal norms, that we should have done for her. We really believe however, that because she took ownership of the process, she is better for it.
Banjo is another story, his learning style is covert, meaning he’s less inclined to ask how to do life, but rather wants to discover things on his own. So, if we press him to learn something that we deem important he usually shuts down. However, if we pay attention to the things that drive him, like building, strategy, entertainment (he really would be a great actor, he can do every accent and is quite flamboyant), and animal science, offering him opportunities to explore and discover, he usually responds and ends up quite the expert on the subjects. Recently, he participated in an Austin Unschool Holiday Market, where he designed and handcrafted his Bottle Cap Shakers based off of the Australian Laugerphone. And, he’s currently he is taking a Pet Psychology class online. It is an adult class and at the end of the course he will acquire a certificate that says he’s completed the course. If he desires he can continue on in the field and eventually have credentials to work in the animal care world. But of course, we have to be subtle about our encouragement as to not turn him off it all together. Ha!