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When Yakir Found His Match in a Zebra

With 1300 pictures from our recent trip to Africa, we certainly have a lot to admire and enjoy. My 15 year old is a serious photographer with a great camera and our bar mitzvah boy got a very nice new camera for the occasion; the pictures that they took are breathtaking.

But few pictures made me giggle the way that this one did:

If you know my kids, or you’ve heard enough about them to know their personalities, then you know that there is only one guy who could have taken this. Yep, Yakir.

On the first day of the safari, I handed him an old iPad that we charged just for this occasion and told him to go crazy. Each day he took approximately 1000 pictures on the iPad, snapping away, deleting things, and even making some videos. (We would be driving and suddenly from the back of the jeep we would hear, “Here I am people….do you see that hippo? Yeah, dat’s me and the hippo people.” Exactly what “people” he was referring to is still to be determined.)  He was so proud of himself and he showed his picture slideshow to anybody who would look including the guy selling us sodas, the poor Israelis on the plane home (who couldn’t walk away!) and others.

We have dozens of zebra pictures and many of them are just gorgeous, but this one makes me smile the most.

Why? Well, this picture is so typical of Yakir and the way he leads his life. He’s living it out of the frame. And he’s capturing things so closely, so intimately, that he doesn’t get them set perfectly in the picture.

When I was showing this picture to Josh the other day, I realized that I have the exact same picture of Yakir!

Here he is at his 5th birthday party at school. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He’s so on-the-go; he’s always blurring-by to the degree that I couldn’t even get him in the frame here. I’ve got the hint of his whole body, but he’s bursting onto the scene and popping out of the picture.

How funny is it that he captured the zebra in exactly the same way that I captured him?

How wonderful would it be if we could all live our lives like this, with so much energy and zest that we can’t wait to position things just so…that we see life as something bursting off the page and something that can be captured only in its fleeting motion.

I can only hope that, as he grows, the pictures that Yakir is in, and the pictures that he takes, will always have these qualities. Furthermore, I hope that I can learn from him to enjoy this level of enthusiasm in my life and in the way that I see life around me as Yakir does.

Lessons learned from my seven year old son.


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