Dear Sebastian and Samantha,
Congratulations on your new baby! I can’t wait to meet sweet little Samuel, give him lots of cuddles and kisses, and impress upon him the importance of his generation banding together to save us all from The Huge Darkness.
I looove the photos you sent. Samuel definitely has his daddy’s eyes, his mama’s nose, and the clenching and unclenching fists of a miniature revolutionary. You must be exhausted, what with him waking up all night and howls wafting from the Waterboard Warehouse all day. Try to catch some shut-eye whenever you can. It’ll all be over soon! (The newborn part, not the howling.)
Treasure every minute of this incredible experience — the ups, the downs, the early morning diaper changes, the middle-of-the-night realizations that your child is the world’s only hope. Before you know it, Samuel will be a surly adolescent and you’ll be hiding in an underground bunker. You’ll look back on these precious years and say: Gosh! We didn’t realize how good we had it, with that cute little face and the benefits of natural sunlight.
Trust me. Time goes by so quickly, whether you’re watching baby grow up or witnessing the ascension of a terrifying authoritarian administration. Like, what?! That happened so fast! Slow down and take the time to enjoy it all.
Sorry if this note is a little dark, but it’s dark (and cold) here inside the Great American Dissident Depot. I’ve lost track of how long it’s been — weeks? Months? My fellow political prisoners and I communicate via a complex system of taps and scratches on our cell walls, as conversation is forbidden. They tell me to tell you: Tap tap. Scratch scratch. Tap scratch scratch tap tap. That means: Warmest wishes on the blessed birth of your son; we look forward to the day he infiltrates the walls of the Depot to set us free.
Not that I want to put too much pressure on the little guy right out of the womb. But, if there’s one thing I learned from our generation’s helicopter parents, it’s that coddling and participation trophies don’t prepare you to instigate an uprising. (Just look at yours truly, stuck behind bars for retweeting a photo of our Dear Leader looking puffy in the face!) Sorry, but you’re gonna have to push Samuel a little harder, a little faster, if he’s going to overthrow our fascist overlords and learn to drive by the time he’s 16.
Your bundle of joy will be full of beautiful surprises as you discover what kind of person he’ll become. Will he be a gutsy firebrand who explodes the status quo from the outside? A scrappy journalist who orchestrates an investigative takedown for the ages? Or a Hollywood sound editor whose passionate Oscar speech inspires the nation to topple the regime and call their mothers? Whatever Samuel’s path in life, though, steer him away from the Social Media Freedom Enforcers. Those guys are a bunch of jerks.
Now, about the package. Assuming the sympathetic guard who acts as our secret courier completes the delivery, you’ll find enclosed several works of Young Adult fiction to inspire teenage Samuel to rise up in righteous anger along with a posse of his peers. You’ve got your Hunger Games, your Harry Potters, and a few Nancy Drews, just in case the revolt involves an old clock or a hidden staircase.
I also smuggled copies of 1984 and Animal Farm — but not the Animal Farm you’re thinking of. It’s an adorable picture book where you touch illustrations of barnyard critters and they make sounds. Even a rebel has to know what the cow says.
Which brings to me a little lullaby I wrote for Samuel while I was locked in the Patriot Hole:
Twinkle twinkle little Sam
How I wonder where I am
Down below the ground so deep
Wish that I could fall asleep
Twinkle twinkle little Sam
How did this even happen I’m losing my grip on reality
I’ll sign off now, as the guards are coming soon with our daily ration of Liberty Gruel. I pray this letter finds its way to you and eludes the tiny, evil hands of the Free Speech Squad. Lots of love to my new nephew, upon whose shoulders the revolution rests.
Yours in resistance,