The classroom was Brooklyn, New York, the birthplace of the word fuggedaboutit and the best pizza in the world. It was also one of the craziest places to grow up in a large family. Imagine a middle aged neighbor, who enjoyed watching his wife tend their English garden, while he smashed empty Piels beer bottles into a trash can in the alleyway. From from that alley, he heard the echoes of the goings on in the house next door.

That would be our house.

It still echoes today with the commotion that occurred between four boys and five girls, playing pranks, fighting over blouses, rummaging through socks in a communal sock drawer. There were screams, shrills, shoves, revenge. But there was also a lot of love. I've been writing observations about our lives in notebooks, diaries and on gum wrappers and scraps of paper since then.

I'm married to Greg, who's read some form of each of those stories countless times and still supports their being written. We have two amazing sons, Matthew and Greg and a beautiful daughter-in-law, Julie. Our sons’ knees didn't touch in the car, but they've been through thick and thin together.

It sounds like the perfect life, right? Fuggedaboutit.