10 things that made us smile this week​

Hey, everyone!

It's that time of the week again, where we round up some snippets of delight to lift people's spirits and bring a smile to their faces. Think of it as a hit of endorphins giving you that natural high we all crave, and a reminder that no matter how bleak things may feel at times, simple things can bring us great joy.

I dare you to go through this whole list and not smile once. (Nah, just kidding. Revel in this joy, friends. Laugh out loud if you feel compelled. Share it with friends. We all need more of this in our timelines.)

Enjoy:


You know an animal feels 100% safe with you when she brings you her babies to snuggle.

Say it with me: "Awwwww!" Too sweet.

Hello, brand new, unbelievably adorable human getting a bath! 

Stop it right now. This is too much dopamine to handle.

The mesmerizing joy of a bunch of dachshunds chasing around a big blue ball.

"Chasing" the ball isn't exactly right. It's more like they're pushing it, or maybe carrying it? Or it's carrying them? I'm not even sure, but doggone it, this is what living your best dachshund life looks like. And shout out to the random dalmatian there too.

Doggo gets caught messing around in the sink, then tries to play it cool.

"Are you doing dishes? I hope so." Hilarious. It looks like this dog forgot it was a dog for a minute.

Mom recorded his son's daycare pickups for five years and OMG the cuteness.

The instant grin. The squeal of delight. The throwing his hands in the air. This is a boy who adores his mama. Read the full story here.

This 17-year-old created a free app that makes Disney+ movies more accessible for deaf children.

Mariella Satow spent much of her pandemic downtime creating an app that lets young kids who aren't able to read subtitles or closed captions enjoy children's films. SignUp is a free Chrome extension that provides a pop-up window with a sign language interpreter on Disney+ films, filling a gap in the deaf community. Not too shabby for a 17-year-old. Read the full story here.

Dogs coordinate to save their owner when he collapsed on a mountain trail. 

A 71-year-old man was walking with his dogs on a mountain summit in England when he collapsed from an apparent seizure and fell unconscious. One of his dogs, a black lab, ran after a walker who had passed them a few minutes before and barked to get her attention. She followed, found the man with his golden retriever lying by his side and called emergency services. Amazing. Read the full story here.

Simple human connection and kindness always wins the day.

An Uber driver stopping by his house to procure some comfort food for someone who was missing home? More of these stories all day long, please. (Be sure to swipe and see the second slide. Beautiful.)

Native Americans created a way to have powwows safely during the pandemic

If you've never been to a native powwow, you're missing out. The beauty and energy of these festive celebrations of Native American culture are wonderful to experience firsthand, but the pandemic has put a damper on such large, in-person gatherings. A Facebook group called @SocialDistancePowwow has brought together thousands of people through song, dance and art—definitely something to check out during Native American Heritage Month.

This is the coolest trick-or-treater ever. 

Casually driving up, taking just a little candy (with no one watching—way to go, parents), putting it in the trunk, singing a little song to himself, backing up into a three-point turn and driving away? It does not get any smoother than this.

Come on, now. That worked, right? Totally brought a smile (or several) to your face? The daycare pickup kid alone is good for at least five smiles.

Join us next week for another happy things roundup, and enjoy your weekend!

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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