MilliOnAir Magazine October 2017 - Page 71

MilliOnAir

HUMANE, WISE AND FUNNY LETTERS

FROM A FATHER TO HIS CHILDREN 

Lessons for when you feel lost, Love Dad

By LAURIE STONE

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

The 50 Things  is a collection of humane, wise and funny letters that Peter Dunne has written to his three children.

As his fiftieth birthday dawned, Peter had a life-changing conversation with a friend and realised that, while he may not have invented the Internet or found a cure for cancer, he had nonetheless fathered three remarkable children.

Inspired by that fact, he set out to leave a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs for them, so that if they ever needed to know what their father might have had to say on a particular subject, it would be set down for them.

The result is a blueprint for liberal, thoughtful living in the modern world. From Compromise to Compassion, from Democracy to Sacrifice, The 50 Things explores the social mores and morality of our time and tries to answer the eternal questions that line the path to peace of mind.

Reminiscent of bestsellers such a Dear Lupin, Mum’s List and Love, Nina, The 50 Things celebrates a father’s love for his children, imparting wisdom and experiences on themes that are both universal and timeless.

Peter has worked in the film industry for more than 30 years, holding senior marketing positions at major studios before turning to specialist consultancy work in Family Entertainment and Animation. He is also developing a slate of projects for film, TV and stage. He lives in Herefordshire.

Here. Peter, who I have known for more than 20 years, gives Milli-On-Air Global Magazine, an insight into his must-read book: and the call would not be scary).

And generally, in my own adult life, 2am phone calls have delivered only very sad or bad news

Parenthood, obviously, takes things to a whole new level. After all, as a parent, one is a hostage to fortune the moment one’s children arrive on the planet. Nothing is ever safe again. Life suddenly becomes scary twenty-four hours a day, never mind at 2am. 

Of course, it all calms down a bit as they get past babyhood and the curious toddler stage but the lights are still flashing amber. I used to find it very hard to sit down at my wife's family home during big gatherings when the front door would always be left wide open and our toddling children would try to make a dash for freedom.

As with every family's first child, my eldest, Charlie, is the pioneer, literally paving the way for his younger sisters to have calm, carefree parenting, but how he has put us through our paces!

The summer that Charlie turned fourteen was a big deal. He and his friends were all moving to new schools at the end of Year 8 and many celebratory parties were planned. This was a close-knit group of boys and girls who had known one another for most of their lives. And of course, at fourteen the challenges come:

"Can we have beer at the party?" 

"No." 

"Why not?" 

"You're fourteen. If you want beer we'll have to cancel the party and wait until you're eighteen." 

"OK"

And so it goes on. Every parent of teenagers has had this conversation.