Saying that John Eden likes his beard is an understatement. It would be comparable to saying that oxygen is kind of important or that sword canes are somewhat cool.
The only thing that he likes more than his beard is his daughter. So what did he do? He started a little thing called Parenting By The Beard.
What is it you ask? Well, if you stop yelling questions and help me out of this mime box I’ll let you know. According to the group’s short description it is, “Promoting the virtues and values of Bearded Parenting. Raising children with love, respect, and beards. We do it for the kids.”
Basically, it’s about getting dads involved in their kids lives and promoting the positives that this interaction proliferates. And, it is about having a beard and the superpowers that are hidden within the follicular facial fantasticness.
Quick list of things that can’t grow beards:
A human heart.
Some of your moms.
Here is Mr. Eden answering some questions about the group and just what the crap he does:
For as long as you can remember, did you always want to be a father?
Well, I wouldn’t say I always wanted to be a father. I mean, I don’t know that I ever really thought about it as a younger man but I probably always assumed that I would be a father one day. Family has always been very important to me and I can say that wanting to have kids was certainly a major factor in deciding it was time to “settle down” Haha!
Has it changed how you see the world?
I have always seen women as equals and been in favor of women’s empowerment but, for sure, having a daughter has turned me into a much more active feminist ally. I don’t want my daughter buying in to all the societal ideas of what a girl is or isn’t. I’m so glad she loves to play sports, do martial arts, collect bugs and lizards, climb tress, and play in the dirt. That being said, she also loves pink and princesses. She is almost 5 now and it has been difficult already. I can imagine it only gets harder.
Where did the beard idea come from for Parenting By The Beard?
I was just sitting there, stroking my beard and blogging about my daughter on Tumblr (daughterofthebeard.tumblr.com) and it came to me. I blog about beards and parenting. A lot of dads have beards. Why not put them together in one space and show off how awesome bearded dads really are! And thus Parenting by the Beard was born. It’s fun to go on about how much better dads with beards are but really it’s more about showing that bearded dads are just regular good dads like anyone else – and not necessarily just some hippy/criminal/duckhunter or whatever stereotype people have of big bearded men.
What is one of the biggest surprises you’ve come across?
It never ceases to amaze me at the ideas and thought processes that kids have.
We were discussing the scientific method a bit one day since she was going to play the role of scientist in her school presentation about gravity:
Phia: I have another hy-pop-i-this!
Daddy: Oh yeah, what?
Phia: I think lions don’t get thorns in their paws, even when they run really fast, because they have pads on there feet. Do you wanna know how I’m gonna test it?
Phia: I’m gonna ride on a lion when I’m a teenager.
Also, everything is taken very literally so you have to be very careful…
Mommy: I need to put an ice cube in Phia’s soup.
Daddy: Okay, Phia. Yours is still hot wait one minute for Mommy to get an ice cube.
Mommy: Here you go…
Phia: Hey! That’s a semi-circle. You said you were going to get an ice CUBE!
Do you have an anecdote that sums up your dad experience thus far?
One day our daughter climbed in bed with us pretty early in the morning – maybe about 530 am…
Phia: I wove you, Mommy (putting on her cutest baby voice).
Mommy: I love you too but it’s not time to wake up yet. Please go back to sleep.
Phia: I will Mama… Dada, I wove you.
Daddy: I love you too, sweety.
Phia: You are the best pawents eva.
Daddy: Thank you, sweety.
Daddy: You are the best daughter, too.
*a few minutes later*
Mommy: Phia, you’re pulling the covers off me. You need to be under the covers or on top of them.
Phia: But I’m too hot!
Mommy: Here, get on top of the covers.
Phia: But now I’m too cold. I want to be hot AND cold.
Daddy: Here, get under just the sheet.
Phia: I wove you, Dada. You’re the best Dada eva.
Daddy: I love you too, you’re the best daughter ever.
Phia: I love you Mommy, you’re the best Mommy ever.
Mommy: I love you too, now go back to sleep! It’s not morning yet.
*a few minutes later*
Phia: How could it not be morning if it’s light out. It’s just early morning.
Daddy: Please just let us get a few more minutes of sleep!
*one minute of silence*
Phia: You guys are the best pawents eva…
Daddy: Well, it’s time to get up for work.
What advice would you give other dads who might not have beards?
That’s an easy one: Grow a beard! But I understand if that’s just not your thing. In that case, I highly recommend practicing patience and relaxation techniques. You’re gonna need it.
Mr. Eden can also be found at: