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“Rad Dad Feature: Stone Slade”

Stone Slade is definitely a Modern Day Dad.  Selected for the A&E hit show Modern Dads, he definitely earned his place in our Rad Dad Feature.  His own childhood exposed him to a rock star lifestyle at a young age, and he is able to use and learn from those experiences when dealing with his own children.  Being able to talk with him, we filtered through what was seen on television and were able to get right to the core.  Stone loves his children and is a fantastic modern day dad.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Stone Slade. I was one of four dads featured on the A&E hit show Modern Dads last year. I was typecast as “the single dad” but now have the most amazing girlfriend/best friend I could ever hope for. I mostly work from home as a freelance graphic artist building websites and designing logos, t-shirt designs, posters, etc… I also bartend a couple nights a week (when I don’t have my 6yr old daughter Danica) at an iconic Austin music bar C-Boys Heart & Soul and am a local event promoter specializing in action sports and music events. I love having the freedom of working from home so that I can maximize my time with my little one. I also have two older children with a different mom, Hunter 21 and Lexi 17. I love all my kiddos the same but obviously spend more time with Dani since the other two are more self sufficient.  They come and go as they please. We try to do as much family group activities as possible but it’s hard to organize between their work, school and personal lives.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

I had a much different childhood than most kids. When I was born my dad was the tour manager for the Grateful Dead and some other bands including the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. We had more of a best buds relationship than the typical father and son thing. He didn’t have his dad growing up and I know he tried to be as good of a dad as he could but he was also on tour a lot so that was difficult. So for me I just wanted to try to always be there for my kids and be involved as much as I could. I assistant coached some of my son’s baseball teams and was the head coach for all my daughter’s (Lexi) basketball teams until she reached 7th grade and was finished with rec ball. I’m very lucky that my two older kids have a terrific mom that has been a great co-parent and we’ve raised a couple young adults that have good heads on their shoulders. I think a lot of the old school dads obviously loved their kids but were more of the 9 to 5 working dads while the moms did most of the raising the kids aspect. Today we’re seeing a lot more dads being more involved with raising their kids too.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

I was only 21 when Hunter was born. I’m pretty sure that having him so young probably saved my life because I was a wild one. Besides the obvious struggles of having kids at an early age, I’m happy that I had them so young. I was always the young/rad dad at all the school functions. We got to do a lot of things together that other dads don’t take part in like playing video games, wake boarding, skateboarding, etc.. I loved cruising up to the neighborhood pool with the kids on their bikes and me on my longboard. Having kids so young also caused a lot of stress on the relationship between me and their mom so we ended up getting divorced when Lexi was about 2. Their mom and I became much better friends and co-parents than we were a couple but I feel like that also robbed me of a lot of little things that I missed out on just because I wasn’t always there anymore. Now having Danica has given me the opportunity to get that back and try to not make the same mistakes that I did before. Nobody is perfect but I do honestly try to be the best father that I can be.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

The greatest part of being a dad is just being able to watch these 3 amazing kids that I made learn, love and experience everything. The little twinkle in their eyes when they accomplish something brings my heart the greatest joy.  Going to a school performance and having your little one direct her performance directly at you

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

Aw man… they happen almost everyday hahaa… Kids are constant creators of funny stories in your life, from the embarrassing moments of pointing out things aloud in front of strangers, to breaking wind and nakedness in public.
Without naming any names, there was one time that we were out to eat and the subject of this story was about 4yrs old. We’re all sitting at the table and I hear “Daddy I need to make a number 2”. So I take him/her to the bathroom and they insist on doing it themselves (for me this was huge because it was a first). ‘Daddy, I can do this by myself and I want you to wait outside the bathroom.” So I go just outside the bathroom door and wait… and wait, and wait. I had peaked my head in the door a couple times and asked if I could do anything to help and was told that everything was under control. So now I’m standing there and these girls that recognize me from the wakeboard & music festivals I organize in Austin start taking to me. These are three gorgeous girls in their early 20’s and I’m single at the time so I’m stoked to be talking with them… then from out of nowhere as loud as if it was right next me, we all hear “Dad come wipe my butt!!”.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
For all the new fathers I would just say to embrace every bit of it. Do everything you can to help out mom. For everything you’re feeling, she’s feeling that times 10 plus just went through actually giving birth. It can be a scary thing at first but becoming a dad is the greatest thing in the world. Always be there for them but give them enough room to learn some things on their own. Don’t hover too much and let them experience having to earn things, it makes it more rewarding for them. I also can’t stress enough that you can never take enough pictures… they grow so fast and before you know it they’re out the door and it’s hard to get them to come by sometimes. I’m definitely feeling this now with my older ones.

Thanks so much for taking part, you truly are a rad dad.  I know we haven’t heard the last from you, so we look forward to seeing all the great things you will do in the future!

 

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There are plenty of ways to get in touch with Stone:

Stone’s freelance graphic business is  http://www.wetmediadesigns.com and https://www.facebook.com/WetMediaDesign

His action sports event company is 360Wake https://www.facebook.com/360wake
His Twitter is @StoneInAustin

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