If you read anthologies (or comp zines) you know that they're always uneven in quality and focus. The most common thread I found in Only Child, both thematically and content-wise is a self-consciousness. There are more than the usual amount of asides, parentheticals, and explanations, which I think makes sense for people accustomed to having so much attention aimed their way. Many of the writers cited having all of their parents' love and affection to themselves as a childhood experience. I know when eyes are on me I feel more self-conscious, like if the Pilates class instructor praises me, I inevitably mess up the next exercise, as if to show that I'm not special, I'm the same as everyone else. But of course no one cares. In Pilates you're not looking at anyone else. That is one place where navel gazing is not only okay; it's the rule. Same with these only child authors, but they haven't had siblings beat "no one cares" into them, lucky dogs.