This is the first time Niel has experienced an American summer. Granted, it's the tail-end of it, but it's still summer. He cannot get over the fact that it stays so light out till after 9:00 at night. At the peak of our summer in South Africa, it only stays light until about 7. He's heard me tell him for years about the wonderfully long days in the States during summertime, and now he's experiencing it for the first time.
As much as I love living in South Africa, there are times when it "gets old" to be living in my husband's country. I don't mean that as negatively as it sounds, so let me try to explain. Although I felt (and still feel) very called to South Africa, and had even moved there before Niel and I were a "Niel and I", sometimes I wish Niel could have a better understanding of life in my home country. He's visited the USA a lot and greatly enjoys and appreciates many aspects of our traditions and lives. (I'll always remember Niel's first American Christmas when my mom bought him a Christmas stocking to hang up with all of ours--he kept asking when he could look in his "Christmas sock"!) But because we come in for just "visits", and always for ministry reasons, he's not experienced much of just life here. While there is much that is wrong with American culture these days, there is still much to be appreciated about it. One of those things is families enjoying the long summer days with relaxed barbecues in the backyard.
Anyway, for Niel to finally be here to experience even a glimpse of an American summer has brought joy to my heart. The SON is indeed shining!