You can barely tell, but if you look close, it’s there. Once you notice, you’ll wonder how you didn’t right away.

It’s not the sweater’s missing button, torn from its threads during a $3 trip around the washer and disappearing without a trace.

It’s not the lopsided, ill-fitting sunglasses, purchased out of season and on sale, but cared for like this year’s couture.

It’s not the tan skin, the one happy remain from days spent pacing a school playground, tending to scraped knees and temper tantrums at $11 an hour.

It’s not the bandage hiding a quarter-sized ring that took months instead of weeks to heal, dumb pride and ignorance keeping it covered when all it needed was to breathe.

It’s not even the pillar to the side, named for a place once as familiar as the back of the hand that saluted it.

It’s the before. Before the move, before the mistakes, before the question marks.

I’d like to post a recent photo and credit it with “after,” but I know it doesn’t work like that. There will be more moves, more mistakes and plenty more question marks.┬áThe nice thing is, that means there’ll also be lots more “before” pictures. And I can’t wait to see how those turn out.