A few months ago I ended up on one of my periodic shaving strikes. Not trying to grow anything, just being too lazy to shave. After a while it started bugging me and I thought about getting rid of it, but time was always tight, or I couldn't find my razor, or Fuss emptied out my shaving cream into the bathtub one night and I kept forgetting to buy more. By this circuitous route it reached the bizarre state of being neither stubble nor beard, a veritable Schrodinger's Cat of facial hair.
And that just takes a lot of energy to wrangle, so I ignored it.
As tends to happen when you ignore things, I awoke one morning with a capital B Beard. Once you have the thing you might as well keep it for a while- you no longer look homeless, shaving it off is a production number, easiest just to let it ride.
For a time it clung inoffensively to my cheeks, until an evening came along bearing an event that called for a scintilla of grooming. I excavated my trimmer from the bathroom cabinet to clean it up around the edges, but the intoxicating BZZZZZZZZZ took hold and I watched the mirror bemused as the entire thing came off in strips.
Which is the way it's always gone- a beard creeps across my visage like moss on a rock, abides for a time and then is scrubbed clean.
But this specific beard found a vocal advocate in Fuss.
After I shaved he spotted me in the living room, gave me the stink eye and queried in an accusatory tone
"Uh, Dada, where did your beard go?"
"I shaved it off."
"Well....you just look WEIRD."
He's just about five, and I had a beard for maybe two months of his entire life.
So of course I look "weird" without one.
I kept shaving, figuring he'd eventually adjust to the 'new' beardless Dada.
"Dada...when is your beard coming back? Because you look WEIRD."
After a few weeks of this chirping & sniping I bowed to the inevitable and set my razor aside.
We were reading books the other night when I caught him staring at me with a beatific smile.
"What?" I asked.
Saying nothing, he reached over and gave my lengthening stubble two quick, gentle pats with his little paw, then still smiling settled back against the pillows.
And that's how I was browbeaten into re-growing my beard by my five year old.