graduation, parenthood, parenting

Watch Out World…Yakir Is Heading to High School

Yakir graduates from 8th grade tonight. What a journey it has been, and what a change we (his parents) have coming since he’s following his brothers to a high school model where he will sleep out much of the week.

I’ve been reflecting on what it must be like for Yakir to be the youngest brother of 6. It’s quite a lot to live up to, and quite a lot of brothers to tease you, beat you up and throw you around.

His brothers all say that he is spoiled; that since he was the baby, he’s gotten away with things and been raised in a different way from the rest. I don’t completely reject that criticism and I will allow a lot of it to fall squarely on my shoulders. But I will also point out that his many older brothers have contributed to the spoiling as well.

I’ve always thought it was ridiculous to make stereotypes about the personality traits of the youngest, middle, or oldest kid; particularly when you have a lot of kids in the house. So I won’t say that Yakir fits into the mold of being the youngest.

But, boy, does he fit into the mold of being Yakir.

Throughout the years, I’ve recorded many “Yakirisms” and I’d like to share some with you now.


I should have known…what was I thinking? Five minutes before we had to leave the house this morning, I find Yakir bathing in…swimming in…vaseline…head to toe vaseline…oh my gosh

Yakir, who is all of 18 months old, has VERY few words in English or Hebrew, but he just said ‘sababa’ (cool)!!

Nothing like having your two year old greet you in his crib yelling “Bullet!” as he proudly shows you the nerf bullet he has in his hand. Hmmm…mornin’ to you too babe.


As Yakir was drifting off to sleep tonight, and I was sitting on his floor (as always) and working on my computer, he jumped up, turned to me and said in his best detective voice, “Mommy. Do you sneak out of my room every night after I fall asleep?”

Turned to my crazy, creative three year old this morning who was busy “shooting” me with a spatula and said, “Where do you come from?” His answer? “The grocery store.”


Yakir: Mommy (said with great drama). Do you know what chappened here? (he says pointing to his arm)
Mommy: No, Yakir. What’s wrong?
Yakir: The Lion bit me at the zoo. You weren’t lookn’ and it came and bit me.
Mommy: We didn’t see a lion at the zoo, Yakir. He wasn’t there.
Yakir: That’s because he was chiding. Waiting to bite me.

Today, when I needed to get Yakir out of the house and away from his toys, I promised him that we would close the door to the playroom so no one disturbed his toys. He said, “Ok Mommy. The door is closed. So the lions can’t get in (long pause) and the butterflies (long pause) and the mommies (long pause) and the elephants.”

“Who was George’s mommy?” Yakir wakes me with this morning at 550.
“Huh. Wha.?” I say trying to figure out what’s going on.
“Who was George’s mommy.” He asks, annoyed I’m not catching on.
And I realize I’ve been woken to discuss the motherless Curious George….now that’s a fun wake up call….

Wake up call sponsored by Yakir this morning:
“Mommy! Mommy!”
“What? Huh? What’s going on…”
“Mommy! What color is your poop?”

Just when I thought Yakir had drifted off to sleep I hear, “mommy, how do elephants eat der carrots? Where’s da mouth?”


Do you want me to show you how to use it?” Zeli says in his cutest big-brother voice while playing with something slightly complicated.
“No,” says Yakir totally matter of fact, “I know how to use it from the time that I stole it when you weren’t looking. I’m good.”

My conversation with Yakir at 4:30 am this morning.
“Yakir, go back to sleep right now.”
“Is everyone sleeping?”
“Yes, all your brothers are sleeping – EVERYONE in the yishuv is sleeping.”
Pause. “Are the burdies sleeping?”
“Yes, Yakir, even the birds are sleeping.”
“In the trees?”
“Yes” (I said trying not to cry) “in the trees.”
“Aren’t they cold in da trees?”


Confirmation that child number 6 thinks of himself as the center of the world. We were saying something about child number 3 and Yakir said, “3? Amichai is number 4.” And we said, “What? There is Matan, Yehuda and then Amichai. That makes him number 3.” And he looked at us like we were idiots and said, “No, he’s number 4.” And then he worked backwards saying that he, Yakir, is number 1, and that the next youngest is number 2, the next youngest is number 3…and then Amichai. And that makes Amichai number 4 (in relationship to center-of-the-world-Yakir). Classic

While eating breakfast, Yakir decided to time how long it takes me to get dressed. Two minutes later he comes downstairs to my room “What comes after a billion and 19?”


“Mommy, sometimes I speak Swahili at school. But then my friends tell me to be quiet because they don’t realize I’m speaking a language just like they are speaking Hebrew.”

I tried to get Yakir to go to an afternoon education program that he didn’t want to attend. “Mommy, I don’t need to go to that. I learned all that in my childhood.”

Yakir has been sending love messages from my phone to his oldest brother who is skiing in Italy. Today’s message began as he yelled out, “Darn it! How come you can’t find the poop emoji when you need it.” Don’t worry, he found it.


Just now Yakir walked out of the door singing, “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore…”

The stories go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Raising Yakir has been quite an interesting experience. We are proud of ourselves (and Yakir) for getting through the elementary and middle school years. And we certainly look forward to seeing what life at Sussya will be like for this ever-active, never-sleeping, fun-loving, friend-crazy guy.

He’s named for my Papa Jerry, and boy would Papa have loved this guy, as we all do.

Mazal tov Yakir!


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