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It didn’t take long for Covid to throw off a lot of things about life. Some of it wasn’t so great (I’m looking at you, toilet paper and hand soap shortages), but for our family, there were some memorable moments that we remember fondly. Like, Jack’s Covid beard.

Jack’s beard was spawned from not needing to go into the office for several weeks on end, which extended to an indefinite remote working situation. Why shave when you don’t have to? To say Jack can grow facial hair is a gross understatement. With his heritage showing through his genetics, the man would practically grow hair up to his eyeballs if he didn’t shave his cheeks to tame his wild facial hair at least a smidgen.

When Jack truly committed to growing out his beard to see what would happen, he had grandiose ambitions of a handlebar mustache and a pointy beard tickling his belly button. Fun fact: everybody’s hair has a predetermined length that it’ll grow, otherwise we’d have Rapunzels left and right. The longer Jack let his hairy face go wild, the more apparent it was when it’d reached its limit. His beard grew about five inches, then quit. His mustache? Other than curling around his lip, it didn’t grow much more than to serve as a soup strainer.


Since the girls had never seen Jack with much more than the occasional scruff, they found it HILARIOUS to decorate his beard. First attempt, it was baby nubbins that were color coordinated…

Sneezing butterflies.
… but as the weeks passed, their beard decorating became more and more elaborate. With four girls in the house, we have literal gobs of hair accessories. Guess what? They made even Jack’s beard look fancy!

Peter also probably doesn’t remember Jack clean-shaven since he was a toddler when Jack started, and Adam was born at the height of Jack’s beard mania. We’re interested to see what Adam thinks of Jack once the beard is shorn. I mean, there won’t be anything to rip off Jack’s face. It’s entirely possible Adam will be severely disappointed at the change.

Jack taking an evening stroll with his homemade leather blanket.
Having a beard didn’t change anything about Jack, but it certainly made him look… more. More all of it. Jack is part lumberjack, part wild man, part rebel, part cowboy, part hipster, and part (youthful) Santa. The beard merely accentuated it.

One of the things I learned as Jack grew out his beard is that there’s a whole beard care culture out there. Jack’s sister sent him a box of beard wash and beard essential oils with names like Rogue Sleuth and Tavern Brute er, something manly like that. Point is, Jack has never worn cologne a day of our married life, but hair oils, balms, pomades, washes, moisturizes? Yes, please! Every day, I was consulted about which I preferred–there were sage and leather scents to pine and baby powder, which, after so many children, is not what I want to smell on my husband’s face. There was definitely a learning curve to this new avenue of styling, though. As Jack grew his hair on his chinny-chin-chin, the hair atop his head also needed appropriate styling gel to keep it out of his eyes. With some trial and error, he learned to style his hair in an attractive swoop which was an appropriate look for everything from date night to road trips to church to mushroom hunting.

But, like all good things, the beard had to come to an end. change is inevitable, and with summer coming, Jack’s been contemplating a clean shave before the heat rolls in. I, for one, wouldn’t miss the beard hairs in the sink, the food that caught on his face every time he ate, or the water that trickled out of his mustache long after he’d taken a drink). So, it was time for the beard to go. Not before some fun, though.

Jack asked friends and family to vote on their favorite (slightly ridiculous) beard style, and he committed to wear it for a week. Most people, the more cringey, the better. It takes a confident man to sport a beard that looks silly. At the end of the popular vote, The Sparrow (as in Jack Sparrow, the pirate) won. Side note: it was HILARIOUS how much Kate resisted him shaving his beard into The Sparrow. It’s one thing to wear the look yourself, it’s a totally other thing to be the daughter of the man who’s wearing The Sparrow, I guess. 😆

Is it just me, or did Jack look kind of sad to be shaving his beard? 😅
I had bought a new set of clippers for the occasion, and though I cut the boys’ hair, I have largely had a hands-off approach to Jack and his ever-changing hairstyles. They’re too complicated for what I have the patience for. But, come the momentous day to shape Jack’s beard into The Sparrow, I obliged.

It took me about half an hour to cut his hair and shave his beard, then Claire braided his itty-bitty, wiry beard hairs into twin braids. Surprisingly, the look suits him. Or maybe, not surprisingly. He has the cheekbones for the Jack Sparrow look. It will be a temporary look, just so he has time to share in the laugh with everyone who was invested in the changing of his beard, then he’ll go back to clean shaven for a while. Who knows? The beard (or a goatee or The Klingon or a Monkey Tail or a Soul Patch…) might show up later. For now, au revoir, beard. You marked an era of interesting times for our family!


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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