Ben now has two weeks of college classes under his belt, and we are all breathing a little more easily.
On his first day, I jokingly announced that I was ready to ride in with him so I could meet his teachers and his new friends. Then we realized that (because he attended a combined middle school-high school) this would actually be the first time I had not accompanied him on his first day at a new school, and I nearly cried instead.
In addition to my sentimental nonsense, I had some real concerns about his ability to navigate a large, bureaucratic university environment after attending a small, intimate high school.
The transition has been fairly smooth, though. Because he will apply in December for a specialized music program, four of his five classes are music-related, which makes him very happy.
One class in particular, which deals with the science of sound production, has caught his imagination. He tells me that he has long used options and apps for altering sound on his guitars, keyboard and amp, without understanding how they work, and without knowing anyone who could explain the principles to him. Now he brings home charts and diagrams of sound waves and tries to explain to me how one sound can amplify, modify or cancel out another. I try to follow, but he has already moved way beyond me.
This is as it should be. It feels strange to hear him talking over my head. It feels even stranger to hear about new acquaintances and realize that not only do I not know their parents, I may not meet the kids themselves because they have their own apartments where everyone congregates, so Ben is unlikely to bring them home. But he is launched into this new phase of his life with enthusiasm and expectations of success, and we are pleased and proud.