So many of the images and headlines from the past week were heavy, scary, or sad; it's hard, sometimes, to remember that amidst so much turmoil, there's still good in the world.
Here are some reasons to have hope this week:
People welcomed new babies
There are a lot of new Leos in the world, and they are likely very cute Leos at that! "Saturday Night Live" head writer Colin Jost announced this week that he and wife, "Black Widow" actor Scarlett Johansson, became parents to a baby boy, their first child together.
"OK OK we had a baby. His name is Cosmo. We love him very much," Jost shared on Instagram. He requested privacy and jokingly added, "For all inquiries please contact our publicist @chethinks" — the Instagram handle of his "Weekend Update" co-star on "Saturday Night Live," Michael Che.
Congratulations to the whole family!
Another surprise baby announcement came from "Outlander" actor Caitríona Balfe, who revealed she and husband Tony McGill became parents for the first time recently to a baby boy as well.
"I’ve been off socials for a while as I was taking some time to enjoy cooking up this little human," Balfe wrote. "…. We are so grateful for this little soul ….that he chose us as his parents. I’m in awe of him already and can’t help stare and wonder at all the possibilities of who he will become, where he will go and what he’ll do on the big adventure of his life."
"For some time, Chasten and I have wanted to grow our family," Buttigieg wrote. "We’re overjoyed to share that we’ve become parents! The process isn’t done yet and we’re thankful for the love, support, and respect for our privacy that has been offered to us. We can’t wait to share more soon."
This grandfather found out he has a brand new namesake
Georgia mom Tiffany Crawford shared a video of her father receiving the news that her newborn baby, Scottie Raye, is named for him, and, well, this is the good stuff right here.
Crawford's video on TikTok has been viewed more than 4.5 million times, which is probably good news for Kleenex stockholders.
Teachers continue to be everyday heroes
Ryan Ball, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, decided to try something new to keep students from feeling fried in Zoom class: He began teaching classes using the potato filter.
His students agree he is quite a spud.
In Atlanta, two teachers went viral this week for their technique encouraging their fourth grade students to shout self-affirmations into a mirror while they cheer them on.
Cierra Levay Broadway, the teacher who filmed the video and shared it online, said she was moved by watching the students perform the self-confidence exercise.
"It was a really great moment," she told TODAY. "I really got chills when I saw the kids and heard what they were saying for their affirmations. For a lot of them, it was their first time ever doing that."
A restaurant made sure to give a blind woman the birthday she deserved
TikTok user Natalie Te Paa recently posted a video of her birthday dinner at Gino D'Acampo's Luciano restaurant in London. As at many restaurants, Luciano's servers brought Paa a birthday dessert, but this one was special.
Paa is blind, and Luciano's chef had written "Happy Birthday" to her on the plate in Braille using melted chocolate.
"I'll never forget this moment," the woman wrote in her caption. "So take heart, despite how broken the world is right now, true kindness still exists."
Teenager reminds us it's OK not to be Instagram-worthy
Tired of the steady stream of perfectly curated images on social media, 16-year-old Florida high school student Lila Meltzer created Instagram account "Her Secret Identity" last winter with a mission to "challenge society's assumptions and help women reveal their true selves."
Since then, the account has become a place for women young and old(er) to talk about the image they show the world and the other roles or insecurities they tend to offscreen.
"Honestly, I just wanted to let people know that we can be weird, and ordinary, and strong, and anxious all at the same time," Meltzer said. "Clark Kent is Superman and Clark Kent, and that's kind of where this idea of a secret identity comes in. It's like this part of ourselves is hidden, but it seeps in."
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When all else fails, we offer you... a baby lap donkey
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