The Nine Lessons: A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances
(Center Street- Hachette Book Group, 2009)
Recently I picked up a copy of The Nine Lessons by Kevin Alan Milne. I had planned to tuck it away and give to my husband for Father’s Day. (Note to my husband if you’re reading this ~ surprise!) Instead of wrapping the book I started to read it and then proceeded to check out the author’s website. To my delight I discovered a very frank, funny man who writes with a fine finesse! Milne is also the author of the novella The Paper Bag Christmas (Center Street-Hachette Book Group, 2008).
Milne is a businessman by day and a writer by night. He has four daughters, one son and a devoted wife. As an aside, I noticed the son (a.k.a the boy) was named Kyler. My husband and I have two boys named Kyle and Tyler. If you blend the two names together it forms a very efficient moniker to yell, um, I meant call, when they are needed at once! I asked the author if he would share with us some words of wisdom and inspiration. He has a message to share about his book The Nine Lessons, “a novel about fears, joys and foibles of being an imperfect parent, and the truths passed on from one generation to the next.”
After graduating from high school in 1991, I attended a public event where all recent graduates were asked what we wanted to be when we “grow up”. I have to admit, I took exception to that question. I’d just graduated from high school, for Pete’s sake, and what could possibly be more grown up than that? Still, I knew what they were really asking: what career will you pursue? I tried to play along, but for the life of me, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. One by one my friends stepped up to the microphone and predicted their future successes. Most wanted to be doctors, lawyers, and the like…nothing wrong with that. When it was my turn, however, I chose to address my parents directly, explaining that I had absolutely no clue what job I would fulfill as a full-fledged adult (I’m sure at that moment they wanted to slink beneath their chairs). “Eventually I’ll figure out how to earn a living,” I said. “But if you really want to know what I’ll be when I grow up, I can tell you: I want to be just like my dad…and if I’m even half as good at being a father and husband as he is, I think everything else will work out just fine.”
Cheesy, I know, but one wife and five kids later I’m living the dream! Jobs have come and gone since high school, but along the way nothing has been quite as satisfying—or scary or challenging or downright frustrating!—as marriage and parenthood. With Father’s Day right around the corner, I sincerely hope that fathers, mothers, and children of all ages will appreciate the message of The Nine Lessons, and will seek to share their own lessons from one generation to the next.
Happy Father’s Day!
Kevin Alan Milne
(Printed with permission from the author Kevin Alan Milne.)
The Nine Lessons is a touching tale that should be a must-read for any father and son. To learn about the author’s inspiration for writing see his story How Corporate America Ignited My Inner-Author. Check out Milne’s blog for updates and his website for future projects.