Growing up in NYC

I come from a large (11 children) Irish American Catholic family. My father was a New York City police captain and my mother was a stay at home mom who happened to also be a fantastic artist. I am stuck right in the middle. I have 3 older brothers and 3 younger brothers, and 2 older sisters and 2 younger sisters. However unconventional my family may sound, there were other families in the neighborhood that had a lot of children. I am the middle child! I grew up in a working class neighborhood in Queens, New York (one of the five NY city boroughs). When I was a kid, I often felt a mixture of freedom and fear running with my friends -- dangers were always lurking in alleyways and unlit streets. But, I developed my own coping skills and learned how to take buses and trains and navigate my way around at a very early age. I learned how to play street games like ring-a-leerio (hide and seek in a 2 block radius), double-dutch jump rope, a crazy game we called "War" that we played in the middle of the street and sometimes made passing cars wait for us to move before they could proceed down the street. We felt like we "owned" the block and cars would have to wait for us to finish playing. Most of the kids on the block were older than me, so I was a tag-along. We were dare-devils -- climbing over fences and garage roofs, taking short-cuts though people's backyards, all kinds of mischief. One time, I jumped on the back of a city bus with a bunch of kids -- holding on for dear life -- when I fell flat to the ground, knocked unconscious and bleeding. When I finally woke up, I was laying in the middle of a usually busy avenue bleeding and scraped up and down my body. I had the feeling that someone helped me get up and move to the sidewalk. It must have been my guardian angel pulling me up out of the street because there was no one else around. The street was completely deserted. It was incredibly surreal. I was more concerned that if my father found out I had "hitched" on the back of the bus I would get in VERY BIG TROUBLE rather than the fact I needed stitches in my chin and had a mild concussion. So, the story changed to "I fell off the handlebars of my friend's bike." I can't believe I did such crazy things when I was a kid. Am I the only one? (Oh yeah -- I don't think that fall caused narcolepsy because I was a child that needed to take a nap everyday until I was nine or ten)