Nana’s Night Lights

3 Feb

by L. Stewart Marsden

“Nana is going to babysit while I’m away,” announced Dad.

“Yay!” cheered Anna Maria.

“And I’ve got a surprise for you,” gleamed her grandma.

Nana put her shopping bag on the kitchen counter and pulled out a small, gaily wrapped box. Anna Maria reached for it immediately.

“Not so fast! First your bath, then your jams and then your teeth,” ordered Nana.

Anna Maria bathed, jumped into her jams and brushed her teeth quicker than ever before.

Nana set the box down on Anna Maria’s big puffy bed.

Hug and a kiss first!”

Anna Maria hugged her grandma and sniffed deeply. Nana smelled of strawberries and cream.

“Careful!” Nana cautioned, as Anna Maria tore into the wrapping.

“What is it?” asked Anna Maria after pulling the top of the box off and peeking inside.

What do you think it is?” she asked back.

It was a square piece of deep blue glass, with the head of a white horse, a crescent moon and three stars painted on it. Attached was a small light bulb and a plug.

“A night light,” answered Anna Maria.

Yes! A night light. But, this is no ordinary night light!”

Nana plugged the light into the wall next to the bed and flipped a small switch. The glass glowed warmly, and the horse and moon and stars shone brightly against the dark blue sky. She turned out the big ceiling light.

“Wow,” said Anna Maria. “It’s not very dark in here at all!”

“And so, you won’t be afraid of the dark,” smiled Nana, tucking Anna Maria under the cool sheets and fluffy blanket. “The horse and moon and stars will see to that.” She kissed her granddaughter, leaving a pink rose-shaped mark on Anna Maria’s cheek.

“Nana, were you afraid of the dark when you were a little girl?”

“Um-huh.”

“And did you have a night light?”

“No, not like this. When I was a little girl I ‘d roll the window shade all the way up when I went to bed. All of my night lights were outside the window.

“One was an old curved metal lamp fastened to the barn just above the big doors. It had a hood that looked sort of like a big straw hat. It was dented and some of the green paint had flecked off showing the white porcelain beneath. The under side was white, and yellow beamed from the lamp to the ground below.

In the summertime, thousands of moths and insects whirled about that lamp, attracted by the yellow bulb. Summer bats, almost too quick to be seen, darted into the swarm of insects.

“I also had the fireflies, who winked and blinked in the dark, saying ‘Hello! Here I am’ to the other fireflies. The night air was almost noisy with their signalling one another.

“And there were the countless stars in the sky, forming dippers and faces and animals and other fantastic things against the night.

“In autumn the big harvest moon bathed my whole bedroom with orange dusty light.

“And in winter, the snow glowed bluish white across the entire countryside, and I could see for miles.

“Sometimes, on really dark nights, a car or truck would pass along the road, and its headlights would sail along the walls and ceiling of my bedroom, searching for me, but never finding me!

“On very cold nights I would crack open the door to my bedroom, and the warm light of the living room would sneak across the floor to my bookshelf, and I would hear my parents, soft and low, cooing to each other.

“In the spring, shooting stars blazed across the vast sky, letting me know that everything was well.

And those, my dear child, were Nana’s night lights.”

She stopped talking. Anna Maria Alberghetti Christiana Gabriella Margaret Anne Jones was fast asleep. Nana tiptoed out of the bedroom, and softly closed the door.

The night light glowed on. 

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2 Responses to “Nana’s Night Lights”

  1. todays date February 15, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

  2. momshieb July 4, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I want to see this one illustrated!

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