The Worst Job You’ll Ever Love


“I was once reasonably dignified,” writes Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at The Weekly Standard, explaining his formerly well-dressed, organized, clutter-free life. “Then I became a father.”

The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love, published by Templeton Press and edited by Last, offers an amusing array of insight from fathers in all walks and stages of life. The book is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the trials and triumphs of fatherhood. Packed with advice on issues from pacifying babies to raising kids with a sense of adventure, the collection of essays includes pieces from seasoned writers such as P.J. O’Rourke and Joseph Epstein.

Last likens The Dadly Virtues to a Swiss army knife: part instructional guide, part meditation, part war journal. The essays explore the impact of failures, successes, and the balance between the two, and examine how fathers exercise virtues like gratitude and joy. It offers practical direction for fathers to inculcate in their kids qualities of grit and perseverance. “Teaching children about failure is one of our more subtle responsibilities,” Last writes. “What we really want to teach our children is how not to internalize it. Of course, the only way to learn this skill is to fail a number of times. There’s the rub. Fortunately, there’s an institution devoted to helping fathers and their children master this duality. It’s called baseball.”

In baseball, as in all things, the authors of The Dadly Virtues find humor, pathos, and sage wisdom. Last writes, “Winning the pennant in fatherhood doesn’t mean that we do everything perfectly. It means getting enough things right that your kids still loves you after he [or she has grown up and] still looks forward to having a catch.”

These stories make The Dadly Virtues the perfect read for anxious fathers-to-be, hard-working dads, and adoring granddads alike.

“There were lots of laughs along the way, but the best part was that each of the authors spoke to me in ways that I didn’t expect,” says Wayne Parker, fatherhood expert for About Parenting. “The book makes you think, laugh, and remember; you can’t ask for much more than that.”