Today I went out to lunch with some current and former coworkers to celebrate that a paper we wrote together has finally (after multiple revisions to please the reviewer from hell) been accepted for publication. We were catching up on each other’s lives in general, and one person asked after my son, so I said he’d just been accepted to the University of Rochester.
“Oh, that’s where Bill just went to finish up his post-doc,” one person said, referring to another former coworker with whom we’d worked on a different project. “We should connect them up with each other.”
My brain stuttered to a halt.
On an intellectual level, I know that Bill — who is married and has finished undergrad and a PhD and a year of post-doc — is at very different stage of life than my son. And on a purely practical level, I know there’s no reason to connect up a microbiology post-doc with a freshman poli-sci major.
But I was still incredibly taken aback to realize so suddenly that my son isn’t just moving from high school to college the way he moved from middle school to high school; he’s also moving on to academia and the adult world of networking into careers. Gulp.