Today we took yet another daily walk as a family.  The number of family members varies.  We can’t always get everyone. 

This afternoon, it was just our youngest, my husband, me–and the two dogs. 

It’s not often that we do things with just the youngest.  She doesn’t always get the chance to hold one of the dogs’ leashes, either. 

I watched as she worked a bit on training one of them.  She called to her, and praised her when she came over excitedly.  The other dog, ever jealous, came over, too, and she quickly gave her attention, too.

Then the little group set off down the trail again, both dogs’ tails wagging high.

Although this is April vacation week for the high schoolers, today’s happy balance of training and praise came from several weeks of practice.  If she were at school every day, instead of at home taking a walk, she would not have had that confidence.  And, honestly, we adults probably would not have given her the chance to show us she could do it.

Score one for the mandated togetherness time.