It’s not an original accusation – but let’s re-state it never-the-less. We didn’t ask to be born. You awoke us from the blissful peace of nothingness into a world of exams, rejection, compromise and pain. No wonder if we push rather a lot of our complaints your way. It is – in the deep sense – all your fault. But take it as a tribute to you if we do complain. You have to feel pretty safe around someone before you dare to tell them you hate them. We overestimate you: how could we not, given how tiny and helpless we were when you were already huge and skilled adults. Unfortunately, when you over-estimate people, you can also resent them a lot when you start to discover the humdrum reality. We encountered you before we had any capacity to deal with your quirks, your immaturities, your bad taste in music. We were helpless before you. We have to blame you for being in some ways mad like your parents were and theirs before them. You react too strongly, your emphases are in weird places, your fears are excessive, your tics peculiar. You forget how fast we grow up. The helpless 2 year old we once were isn’t necessarily our true self it’s just the version of us you find easiest to admire. That’s kind of an insult of its own. You love us perhaps – but with what complicated, specific and sometimes oppressive ideas of what we should be like! Don’t blame us for finding fault with you. We have to find your habits irritating. If we admired you too much, we wouldn’t have any impetus to grow up, and get on with our lives. Though of course, try as we might to get away from you, we’ll never quite be able. However mediocre you might be, you will always seem a bit supernatural to us.