My son proudly pointed his face towards me on the weekend and it took me a moment to clue in that he wanted me to see what a great job he had done shaving. It was the first time for him that there was nary a nick visible, anywhere. He had done a perfect job. I, on the other hand, haven't shaved for weeks. I often keep a very closely cropped beard, but my son had asked me not to shave at all, until after Christmas, so he could see how long my beard would get in approximately six weeks. So, being a good daddy, I am humouring him.
I remember, when I was much younger, trying to get my dad to grow a beard. On a visit to a farm that my brother and I owned back in the seventies, my dad actually went for an entire week without shaving. Otherwise, he didn't like the 'look,' and found the beard irritating. That's my dad in the photograph above, sitting between his two sons -- me on the left and my brother Alfred on the right. We look like a bunch of desperadoes.
I miss my dad. He was a kind, gentle man. He never said much. He always did a lot, for his family and friends and anyone he met. I have never encountered anyone who didn't like my dad. December 16th was the anniversary of his death at age 94, in 1998. His brother, Eduard, is still alive and will be celebrating his 98th birthday on December 31st. Eduard, as were the other of my dad's brothers that I was privileged to meet, is temperamentally much like my dad and a great guy. I wish him many more years.
I remember my dad fondly. I hope someday my son will remember me that way. To hedge my bets, I will on occasion grow my beard longer than I like, listen to the so-called music he plays, make him waffles every Sunday morning, and generally give him my time and attention.