Tongue sticking out of the side of my life, I lower to one knee and line up the shot.
“Okay,” I call out from behind my cell phone. “I’m ready to start recording whenever you’re ready to start chopping.”
“Give us just a minute.” Arlo kneels next to Archie, our son. “I need to talk with the talent.”
I adjust my position so I’m seated more comfortably. This could take a while. Not that I mind waiting. Especially not when I have the best view in the world.
At three years old, Archie is the spitting image of his father. He doesn’t so much as have one of my dimples to spoil the carbon copy effect. If I hadn’t carried him for nine months, I wouldn’t even be able to swear that he’s mine.
I’ll admit, I’d been a little annoyed at first. I mean, I was the one who went through near-constant morning sickness for the first three months of my pregnancy. Plus, I’m pretty sure Archie was practicing ax-swinging in my belly for the last trimester.
But, at the end of the day, I can’t really be mad that Archie looks so much like Arlo. Especially because the two loves of my life are so stinking adorable.
They’re even cuter now while Arlo is having a pre-filming job briefing with his mini-me.
“What do you say, kiddo?” Arlo asks. “Are you ready for your close-up? Are you ready to show the people how it’s done?”
Archie scrunches up his face and taps on his chin thoughtfully. It’s a habit he picked up from Arlo’s dad when they were here to visit last month. It’s just about the cutest thing in the world. No joke, my ovaries explode every time he does it.
I suppose it isn’t any wonder I got pregnant with Baby Number Two the second we started trying. We only found out that we are expecting again a couple of days ago. To say we’re over the moon to be expanding our family is an understatement.
Though I’ll be happy either way as long as the baby is happy and healthy, Arlo says he hopes this baby will be a girl.
He says I deserve a miniature too.
And thanks to the pregnancy hormones that are already in full force, I’d promptly cried for half an hour.
At last, Archie nods.
“I’m ready.” Then, he clenches his tiny hand into a fist. “Let’s do this.
I cover my mouth with my free hand, but my laugh still comes out as a snort. Arlo grins and winks at me.
“Okay, Mom. We’re ready. Count us down.”
Bringing the phone back up, I count down from five. Archie, who has just started his numbers, goes along with me.
When I get to zero, I hit record and Arlo launches into his practiced script.
At first, I’d been worried that Arlo would lose followers after becoming a family man. Instead, his social media account has blown up even more. Both Archie and I make frequent cameos in his videos, though we’re always careful not to show Archie’s face for privacy.
While a lot of the followers still come to Arlo’s page looking for a thirst trap, even more are here to follow our family on this adventure we call life.
The change in direction on his account has given us some new opportunities. We talk more about responsible forest practices. We create content for the next generation, too.
Like today, my two men are filming a clip on ax safety.
Arlo finishes the video with his signature wink at the camera and I turn it off.
“How did we do?” he asks.
Archie hops up and down. “Yeah, mommy, how did we do?”
“You were great.” I beam at them both. “The people will love you just like I do.”
* * *
Thanks for reading this bonus epilogue for ARLO! Be sure to check out the Mountain Man Fan Club series.