What’s the essence of manly? Arguably it’s being dadly. Not fatherly, hunkly, studly, playerly, or suger-daddily. But why? Dads deliver the goods. Not always with the slickest style, the sweetest smile, the flashest dancing, or the charmiest words. Instead, Dads do it with simple, raw, worthy actions. And deep enduring love somehow comes running! Not in a way the Dads understand or can even explain. But in a way they can believe when they see it. Complaints come running too. But tempered with a shrug, a slight grin and a shake of the head.

So how can us Dads get across the coolness of Dadly to hunks, to studs, to players and to sugar-daddies that they’re just a caterpillar lifeform on the way to butterflyhood?

We have a sacred mission. And for us step-Dads, it’s a mission made one step harder. But then, what’s character unless it’s tested?  We’re manly enough to take a character test in our stride.

But what does dadly mean for the kids? Unlike for the Dad’s partner, you are completely uncool. But when you listen, you listen some more, you set some boundaries, you help, you fund, you build them up, you protect them from life’s disappointments, you earn a place in their hearts, cool or not. And so it goes…