I’ve written about my girls before, but I haven’t said much about the fact that the most of the young animators I work with are boys. Young men, really. They’re thoughtful, inquisitive, creative, and caring. I couldn’t ask to work with a better collection of people.

But sometimes it does occur to me that it would be nice to have more men involved in their training. Gabriela and I are the women who accompany them through their studies. Another woman hosts the group in her home. Another woman prepares dinner for group each week. Now that one of the boys is a licensed driver, he’s thrilled to give people lifts. But before then, transportation issues were handled by women, primarily mothers.

Which is why it was so nice when Haigo came to our animator gathering from Indiana.

There are lots of things young men can learn from their more experienced brothers. How to sort through all the mixed messages about what it means to be male in a culture that constantly contradicts itself. How to be a good son, brother, husband, father. How to do the secret man-handshake. (Okay, so there isn’t really a secret man-handshake. But there should be!)

So what useful man-skill did these guys learn while hanging out with a male mentor this Saturday?

How to bake a pie from scratch.

And they loved it. Every minute of it.