When I was a child, I didn’t need a nightlight. What comforted me was the sound of my parents’ voices downstairs in the living room. Lying in the dark, I would hold very still and listen. Not for their words exactly, just the soft murmur of conversation.
If I didn’t hear them, I would get out of bed and tiptoe to the door. There, I strained to detect the slightest sound—even the rustle of a newspaper—to confirm their presence.
If everything was silent, I would go to the top of the stairs and call down, “Mom?”
Her musical voice would reply, “Yes?”