Hey kiddo!

I see you’ve finished your chicken nuggets, but we’re going to wait on ice cream for a bit. Mom and I wanted to talk to you about something important. No, it’s not about the bathing suit area.

You know how Mom and I have always said you’re super talented and can grow up to be whatever you want? That was a lie, just like Santa Claus. Most folks don’t get to do and experience the majority of what they want to. With global warming the way it is, there’s a big chance there’s a lot of things all of us won’t get to experience. Like, for example, your Mom finally saying yes to my fantasies.

Buckaroo, it’s time we packed away the silly stuff and focused on what you might actually achieve before the ice caps melt and we have to start building an ark.

You know we’ve done a lot to support and encourage your interests throughout the years. When you wanted to draw, we sprung for that 64-count Crayola set instead of the Rose Art. We signed you up for t-ball and cheered you on at every game! We wanted to be patient and give you a chance, but the fact of the matter is that you’re terrible.

Thinking long term, how are you planning on defending yourself in the climate-change ravaged wastelands of the imminent future if you can’t get a good swing in on a stationary object? Let alone be a professional baseball player. And the drawings? Well, honey, they were derivative at best. There’s only so many times it’s acceptable to stick the sun in the top corner before it becomes kinda obvious that you’re not interested or capable of pushing the artistic envelope.

McKenzie’s mom was showing us some of her drawings; have you seen them? Her fine motor skills are really coming along! She’s using markers to draw ponies now. She’ll probably be one of the ones who records our post-apocalyptic history on lithographs with bits of charcoal left over from the wildfires. That’s the sort of spark we just aren’t seeing from you, and if you don’t have it now, you aren’t going to have it when water becomes our most rare and precious resource.

You’ve heard of Mozart. He’s that famous man who’s known for making all that impressive classical music Mom insists on playing at dinner, like we’re at a fancy restaurant instead of eating Hamburger Helper for the third time that week. He’s really talented, huh? Did you know he started composing when he was three years old? I bet you also didn’t know he had written ten symphonies by the age of twelve!

Sweetheart, if I have to listen to any more of you tooting on a recorder, I’m gonna fucking lose it. We both are. It’s been a whole month of Three Blind Mice and Au Clair de la Lune, and those notes are still cracking like it’s smack dab in the middle of puberty.

I know being a musician sounds like a neat thing, but if there’s one thing Mom and I can agree on, it’s that your music career would be, well, a funny joke to play on God. You don’t have enough rhythm to lead whatever apocalyptic faction you decide to join into the great war, and kiddo, they’re going to need someone with a lot of pizazz to help get the faction hyped.

I guess what Mom and I are really trying to say is that the sooner you snuggle into a bed of mediocrity, the easier it’s going to be. It took both of us until we had you to pack in our hopes and dreams, and we’re just trying to save you some time. Aim to plan your allegiance to the strongest warlord as soon as possible instead of trying to become the strongest warlord. You were really good at being middle of the pack on your standardized test, and if you can blend in here, too, the chances of being targeted by Ravagers are so much smaller.

Half the planet is going to be on fire in thirty years, so you need to buckle down now and get and serious in terms of survival skills, not silly things like doodling which won't even get you anywhere now. You can ask the nice lady at Starbucks all about that the next time we get hot cocoa. I know this maybe sounds a little scary, but we both love you very much, and we want to make sure you’re prepared for when you graduate, the oceans boil, and the world’s economy is plunged into eternal darkness.

Now, who wants ice cream?