Wednesday, March 09, 2005


What Makes Me Dadmanly

In honor of some important milestones in my family’s lives, I wanted to write a short post explaining how I came to be Dadmanly.

When my girls were young – and they are oh so much older now, we all had nicknames. My oldest, who graduates this year from college, was Jilly Beans. My adventurous younger daughter, who turned 18 yesterday and has already been to the Dominican Republic and Germany, was “Spud.” Mrs. Dadmanly says that she calls our son Pooper McGee, but I never call him that, but whatever I used to call him, I can’t remember. He’s Little Manly now.

My wife’s name was Nancy-Mom, to distinguish her from Mother of Origin. She was in every way a Mom to my girls, showering them with attention and love, being there for them, always ready to lend an ear or teach them or just be their friend. But she was always Nancy-Mom, because the girls already had a Mom.

I always felt bad about that. We only had the girls every other weekend, but we were still our little family when we could all be together. So I started using Dad Man. So it was Dad Man, Nancy Mom, Jilly Bean, Spud, and our son. (I wanted to call him Tater, as in Tater Tot, but nobody else liked that one.)

When I wanted to start a blog, I wanted to pick an anonymous name that nevertheless meant something to me. This is who I am, this is what I think it important.

I love my kids. I know that my girls hated being children of divorce, I know my son was crushed every time his sisters needed to go home, but I hurt a lot from it, too. I was always a little outside their lives, like they were always just out of reach.

And I consider my kids the most important thing in my life, second only to a loving marriage in covenant with God. I take very seriously the task of doing everything I can to prepare my kids for life, and to make them proud of their Dad in everything I do, in everything I represent.

So Dad Man was where to start. And how did I get to DadManly?

One of the many movies I watched with LittleManly over and over was the Iron Giant. In that animated movie, the Government Agent who comes to investigate a possible UFO is named Manly. He was goofy. I used to smile every time the General would holler, “Manly!”

DadManly. I like the way it sounds. If I had a soundtrack, the orchestra would well up like some cast-of-thousands Western or a cigarette commercial (remember those?). Dad Dad Dad Man Man Man Ly Ly Ly Ly … Like echoes off some canyon.

Dadmanly. All Dad. All Man, and Manly. Coming soon as an animated feature (with robots and army men and laser guided missiles and stuff) to a Cineplex near you.

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