A beard is a good thing and manly

A beard is a good thing and manly

This isn’t why I grew my beard in the first place (did that long before I even met Melanie) but it’s one of the reasons I keep it: Mainly because Isabella likes it, just like this blogger’s son.

When the beard got scratchy, TwoBert couldn’t get comfortable. He’d brush up against my hairy cheek and return to scratch his nose on my collarbone. I can’t have this, I thought. If it’s a choice between the beard or the baby, then the short and curlies must die.

But then, one night about a week ago, TwoBert reached up without looking and starting stroking my face. He does this every night now, for about 15 seconds. Just a little dose of unconditional, pre-literate love.

My sister noticed a couple of weeks ago at Mass that Isabella has a habit, when I’m holding her, of sort-of absentmindedly stroking my beard with her hand even while she’s looking elsewhere. As long as she and Melanie like it, it stays.

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  • As I like to point out, there weren’t many Fathers of the Church who didn’t have a beard, if their icons are any indication. That has to count for something toward holiness!

  • Beards come and go in my home; between husband and 18 yo son we usually have one around except in midsummer.  I figure it’s not my business any more (or less) than my hairstyle is theirs… in other words, unless it’s obnoxious I shouldn’t comment.  And clearly, beards aren’t obnoxious!

  • I have a pretty good sized beard. A few years ago my wife and I were on a tour of China and did a lot of mingling with average Chinese at the Beijing Zoo noted for the pandas there. Also there, were many Chinese families with little children. I was surprised at how friendly the people were—they kept thrusting their children into my arms to hold until the child—always a boy—had stroked or pulled on my beard. I soon found out that there is an old Chinese superstition that a man with a lush beard is blessed with fertility, longevity, and wisdom. Part of the superstition is that if a baby boy touches or strokes the beard, he also will have fertility, longevity, and wisdom. So, guys, if you are planning a tour of China—let that beard grow full and long and you will be almost as popular as the pandas.

  • I’ve sported the Maximus look on many an occasion in my adult life.  During the summer it actually isn’t that bad, but it was the deep winter that always ended up making me cut it off. My skin would get dry underneath and the hair made it difficult to rub moisturizer directly to the skin.

  • I had a beard when I was a young adult. I loved it, but had to cut it off when I accepted a commission in the Tennessee State Guard.

    Fifteen years later I retired from the Guard and regained my beard. But the red beard of 15 years ago was now quite white. My wife and daughter both love it, not the least because many of the young children in our parish are convinced that St. Nicholas goes to Mass at their church.

    And I am especially fond of it in the winter. I no longer need to wear a muffler.

  • I shave my beard off completely once or twice a year, usually right at the beginning of winter and right at the beginning of summer.
    My kids generally complain it’s itchy to kiss me, but at the same time, it makes it something of a game as they try to avoid the prickles.

  • Hey, I got an idea: While you’re at it, grow your side curls, too. Then you can look just like the Diciples!

  • I’v got a goatee—my genetics prevent a full beard (cherokee in enough proportion that I don’t have whiskers over much of my face—looks kinda mangey!), but my Granddaughter likes to pull my beard, and sometimes pretends to eat it.

    Granddaughters are the best reasons for beards. (a good second reason is, it covers up part of my un-comely face!)

  • I really enjoyed having my beard and mustache. I felt free and less of a corporate weenie, though I worked in such an environment for six years, it was on the phone so they weren’t uptight about facial hair.
    Now I work face to face with the public and beards are verboten, mustaches are okay, but I will soon work for tips and don’t want to take the chance of being less relatable to my customers by having a ‘stache.
    I say, keep the whiskers, they are a sign of freedom and freedom is precious, indeed.