On a Saturday afternoon, while his wife was out running errands, Brian was in his family room watching the Northcoast University Mudpuppys, his alma mater, play the Merrick State Generals, their rival. With a tie score and time running out, he sat on the edge of his recliner yelling, “What do you mean holding?” As if somehow he could change the referee’s mind; he was so into the game that he remained oblivious to his children jumping on the couch and running amuck until one of them passed in front of the TV.
Rusty is a friend of ours who has a passion for helping prison inmates. He recognized the overwhelming trend of fatherlessness among inmate fathers and took simple action to try to help. Some time ago, he began printing off copies of our weekly fathering e-mails and mailing them to prisoners he knew, knowing that it would have a ripple effect since reading material is often passed from inmate to inmate until the paper falls apart.
Dr. Kyle Pruett is an expert in fatherhood at the Yale University Child Study Center. We may disagree on some issues, but here’s what he said about the urgency of engaging fathers during an interview for a documentary-in-progress: