The Yeard {N Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland Photography}

You know how you start doing something and then you kind of get lazy and, whatever, you just keep doing it and then things spiral out of control, but it’s all good, so you go with the flow and it eventually becomes bigger than you thought and then, suddenly, it’s a THING?

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I thought so, she said after looking in your closet.

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So, my son kind of did that.

He grew his facial hair for a full year.

It started when he was working construction last summer and didn’t have time to get up and shave every morning. Then he went back to college and, well, it was either shaving or breakfast. Not hard to guess which side won that argument.

Then, it just got bigger.

And more demanding.

It began requiring certain conditioners and combs and professional shaping and the occasional trim to keep the split ends at bay.

And voila! It had become a THING.

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Perfect strangers commented on it.

TSA questioned it (thoroughly.)

People either loved it or hated it and most felt the need to vocalize their opinion early and often.

As his parents, we chose to embrace it. Not only because he’s our son and we love him beard or not yadda yadda yadda, but mostly because he was choosing to do something that wasn’t necessarily popular or well-accepted. He had challenged himself to grow his beard for a year and refused to cave to peer, inferior or superior pressure. If only we could get him to phone home so dedicatedly.

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But then, the year came to an end.

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Decisions had to be made.

Not even his girlfriend had seen him without a beard.

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Which brings us to…

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