to his future.
Two days ago, Noah and I chatted on the phone. It's worth noting as he used to call me several times a day and in the last ten weeks, he hasn't called at all. At first, I didn't notice--I mean, not right away because I was glad that he had moved into his own life, not needing me as his sounding board. But then it happened. I got lonely for his voice, his laugh, the way he methodically details a story about Exalted or an IM exchange or the lyrics of one of his favorite songs.
I let him alone though. I know it's important for this shift to happen. And he's got a girlfriend. She gets a good chunk of that debriefing time and should.
Winter quarter was important. He pared down his work schedule, took fewer classes, got some help from the learning center. Learning how to be in school after a life of learning at home where his particular style of self-education had been accommodated meant that it took him two quarters to sort out how to learn in college, not just one.
He called with the good news a week ago that he had passed both classes. Phew. What a relief!
So this past Sunday, when he called, it was not about school, girlfriend, money or work. We chatted at length like the old days of debriefing. I found out that he loves his classes this quarter. He's taking a linguistics course taught by the husband of one of my graduate student friends. The course focuses on the development of language over time, stuff Noah loves. He's also enrolled in "World Music Performance" which includes banging African drums and plunking on a Thumb Piano (yeah, I have no idea what that is). He sits in on Jon's lit class every MWF just for fun. He got one of his good friends to take his favorite class with him so they can chat about linguistics over Super Smash Mouth Bros.
He went on and on about all the people he knows at school now - like the guy whose lunch he bought using his student ID card at the Marketplace cafeteria. They bonded over what it's like to be a broke college student.
Spontaneously he erupted with pleasure over the entire college experience: "I love college. It's like the best life ever." The classes, the friends, the opportunity to live in an apartment. All of it.
Finally, after the enthusiastic report died down, he asked about the kids. I went over each one's activites and developments since he was last home. He got quiet and replied with comments like, "Aw. That's so sweet" and "I miss that."
And right then, that's when I missed him...
But not enough to wish him home. I'm so glad that the door to his future is now wide open. It's satisfying to look through it with him.