Mom, Dad, thank you for being here. And by “here,” I mean on this last WhatsApp call before the internet goes down forever.

You were super parents! You put prodigious thought into every parenting decision, always aware that making the wrong choice could have dire consequences for your child. And I know that’s why you’ve always felt guilty about the CIO sleep-training debacle, so I wanted to tell you that last night I finally enjoyed an uninterrupted night of sleep, which is even more remarkable when you consider that it was 134 degrees outside.

I love you both so much. Yet we can all agree that the toilet training didn’t go very well. Because of the three-day method you so painstakingly chose, every time I get the urge to poop, I still hear that tinkling “Knick Knack Paddy Whack” musical potty tune in my head, and feel a stab of shame. This all seemed difficult to bear before the freshwater supply was completely depleted, but to be honest, now I can laugh about it!

Phew — you really agonized over where we’d buy a home, because you were determined to find the right school district. Thank you for turning your lives upside down so I could go to an exemplary elementary school! I never told you this, but despite your best efforts to find the perfect learning environment, Mrs. Myers used to fall asleep in the middle of class, and I’m pretty sure Mr. Hagen’s coffee flask was filled with Peach Schnapps and Red Bull. Funnily enough, I was just thinking about how cool that multi-sensory wood chip activity station playground was, particularly now as we’ll never breathe clean air again on account of the forever wildfires.

Hey, do you remember that whole extracurricular kerfuffle? You were so convinced that if I didn’t master a musical instrument, an entire region of my brain would lay dormant. Who knows, maybe you were right? I guess it would be nice if I could play piano right now, if only to drown out the sounds of the epic hail storm leveling entire blocks of my neighborhood to rubble.

I really appreciate that you hired that tutor to get me through calculus, by the way. I sure gave you grief about giving up my Sunday afternoons — remember all the fights we had over it? Thankfully, now I know how to use integrating functions to compute area and volume, which is something I can ponder while the flood line rises high enough to submerge my Prius.

I still can’t believe all that time you spent on my college essay. You guys rock! And even as you made me rewrite that story about how Grandma’s funeral inspired my love of RPG gaming, you worried that the help you gave me would somehow adversely affect me, that offering your support at that crucial stage might turn me into the kind of person who’s always dependent on others. I have to say, that’s pretty much what happened. Recently a friend told me that I can be a little needy sometimes, and it hurt my feelings. And then their apartment was obliterated by Tuesday’s bomb cyclone, and I realized that everyone has flaws.

Do I feel bad about all the money you spent on my private liberal arts education? Sure. But those were fun years for me, and just as you’d hoped, I was then eligible to apply for jobs for which a college degree was a requirement. Does it matter that there are no such things as jobs anymore because the infrastructure collapse led to the implosion of the global economy? Only if you’re a pedant.

Anyway, I guess your generation could have spent a little more time stopping the climate apocalypse and a little less time thinking about parenting attachment styles and whatnot, but hey, everyone has flaws!

Okay, I’d better start blowing up this inflatable raft so I can escape before the rabid mutant beavers come for me. Bye for now! Love you!