It took me a while to fully embrace that I was a dad…not in the logical way – I can’t count the times I’ve changed a dirty diaper, or (more-recently) mopped the entire house after realizing Radley isn’t quite at 100 on potty-training, yet. I have certainly seen personality changes – like the slight hesitations where there used to be NO hesitation (I’m less insane on my snowboard, I actually second-guessed whether I should go solo skydiving last summer, I now base my decisions on what is best for my family in the longterm)…
The tricky part was this: What’s my identity!?
I have been on the radio since I was 17 years old – that was 18 years ago! The first half of my life was spent growing into myself as an adolescent, and trying to figure out who “I” was.. We have all faced the constant identity crisis of being a teenager.
The next half of my life was spent on-air, where it quickly became obvious to me that I needed to understand myself before I could effectively communicate with my audience. Like any “product” I needed to have a few Key Identifiers (Coke wants you to think of them as “happy” and “ice cold” and “thirst-quenching”). For a long time, I identified myself as a commitment-phobic, adrenaline junkie who loved helping people feel like they belong (through charities, or just by being a supportive friend).
I was literally scared of knowing what my future held. Instead, I was constantly challenging myself to learn, experience or face something that most people never had.. **I should point out that it wasn’t all SCUBA diving with sharks or interviews with Katy Perry…I also watched a lot of iTunes movies and ate a lot of cheese-and-crackers. But I knew I was happiest when things were crazy!
For almost two-decades, I identified myself as THAT person…then I fell in love with Corri. Then Radley was born.
It was strange to be paralyzed in that youthful mentality that radio had afforded me, and the fly-by-night attitude of my single days. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like that guy anymore, but that’s the guy that (actual MILLIONS of) people knew me to be.. I was hesitant to change myself too quickly, because I wasn’t sure that my listeners could make the same leap that was naturally in my heart as a parent (parents understand how sincere people are when they say having a child “just changes you…immediately”). I made sure not to be overwhelmingly cheesy with how many pictures of Rad I posted, and although my schedule was now maxed out with family-time, I didn’t want people to start identifying me as simply a “Dad” – cuz I’m still as complex and sarcastic as I ever was…just a little slower, cuz I was initially really tired from the NYC morning show schedule and the NYC parenting schedule (which was a little more physical than cities where you can hop in a car and run to the store or whatever).
Since then, I’ve gotten MORE and MORE in touch with what it means to be “Dad” and “Ty” – and I really do put them in that order now. Part of the reason I could ease into this in the early stages, is because you can LOVE a baby and be its dad…but you don’t have to say “Dad” things to it – cuz babies are beautiful and innocent and also pretty immobile for a while. I started feeling more and more like “Dad” when I started having to mold the little smartass 2-year-old that is now running this house haha. He’s brilliant and manipulative (cuz he’s a cranky little psycho one second, and then realizes he’s pushed past the line and IMMEDIATELY is the cutest, sweetest human on earth). When Corri exasperatedly told me “I cannot get this kid to eat vegetables,” I realized she’d definitely hit the point of no return. Then I realized I had already hit several Dad quotes out of the park in the last two weeks…and I’d put a human being in time out…and I’d insisted that Radley brush “all the way in the back, too” and “don’t touch your penis around other people”… I’m a dad.
Plus, if you’ve watched my Instagram for the last 3 years, or watched the videos of my roadtrip across America with my son…you know I’m head-over-heels, ride-or-die, in love with that kid. He’s the best!
Thanks to all the lessons, all the poop, all the questions, all the stories, and all the moments that have happened so far in my life as a parent, I realized I had to start documenting it in the same way I’ve always shared my life – very publicly, and as a means of seeing how it relates to the experiences that other people are having. I love meeting other people, and whether they enjoy jumping out of airplanes, reading physics books, or happen to also be parents…I want to share stories and learn from them!
So…. I am still figuring out the world of the internet, and especially the world of being a blogger… but I have soft-launched the new site, and will be adding to it as frequently as I can manage.
Watch Radley and I (and Corri) grow… HiMyNameIsDad.com
And Please: Tell all the Dads you know!
**Moms, you can sneak in there, too.