“Momma, I’d like to buy a mode ring.” My daughter announces this as we peruse the aisles of a store as we look for a gift.

“A what? What do you want?” I am trying to pay attention so that I can either say, yes, no or I don’t know.

“A mode ring, Momma. The one that changes colors. I read about it in the Judy Moody books.” She puts extra emphasis on the words “changes colors.”

“Oh, you mean, a mood ring. Not a mode ring silly.” As I correct her, I laugh out loud.

My daughter turned six and half this week. She’s quite vocal about it. When someone asks her age, she is careful about letting the world know that the half part is important. It makes me cringe because as she adds on to her age, I find myself wanting her to be younger.

I miss the days when she mispronounced words. I miss the days when she got excited singing her ABC’s. I miss the days when she first discovered paint and crayons and paper for the first time.

These days her questions indicate how much she has grown in the last few years. All her words come out as questions. “How does the mood ring change colors? What does the tooth fairy look like? Can grandpa see what we are doing? Do you think we will live together when I turn 100?”

Of course, I don’t have many answers. I sit and listen. I marvel. I wonder. How does the passage of time march so fast? I say it myself over and over again. How does this happen? Am I paying attention to what is important?  In another six and half years, my daughter will turn thirteen.  I am certain I will still wonder the same about time. There are days when the passage creates an intense sorrow. My inclination is to clench my fists tight and hold on to what I am witnessing. I realize the futility of this thought. Sometimes the desire to not let time pass or stay in one place cheats us out of really immersing ourselves in the moment.

I watch while she is enamored by the sand castle. She focuses on the hearts, the stairs and starts to ask, “How did someone make this? Isn’t it cool Momma?” She is completely taken in, not worrying about what has happened before or anticipating what will happen in the future. And I learn a lesson.

Now, I whisper to myself. Quietly and loudly. As tears stream down my face.