Get ready to meet the most polite baby on the internet. Two-year-old Grey Meeker has become a viral sensation by uttering three little words over and over again: "Thank you, mama!"
If you haven't spotted a Grey video on your timeline yet, you are absolutely missing out.
The videos are largely the same, and yet they never get old. Grey's mom hands him a plate of food, to which the adorably chubby-cheeked toddler inevitably replies, "Thank you, mama," clearly always delighted by the prospect of sitting down to a meal or snack.
Watch some of Grey's cutest moments here:
Grey's mom started posting videos during the quarantine and quickly found she had hundreds of millions of views and millions of followers. "Grey is super polite, with everything," his mama, Linda Meeker, tells Motherly. "He says please and thank you when he needs help with his toys, when he gets water, even when he has to potty! But he's also 2...so there are definitely still times that I remind him to be polite!"
Grey and his mom first started racking up views on TikTok, where they've amassed an incredible 62 million likes so far. Each video is pretty much guaranteed to get a million or more views, with some going as high as 45 million. They've also amassed nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram just since the beginning of June.
And while their funny, sweet videos are the perfect respite from all that's going on in the world right now, the family is also using their platform to be vocal about social justice. Grey's worn a mini "Black Lives Matter" t-shirt in one of his videos, and his mom has shared a glimpse of his diverse book collection. We are so here for this wholesome content, and can't wait to see what Grey gobbles up next.
While Grey's typically seen chowing down on healthy foods like cut-up fruits and veggies, eggs, beans, pancakes, and even steak and shrimp, the cuteness factor jumps up even higher when he's handed a sweet treat. When Grey gets a donut, he just can't stop saying thank you—and who can't relate to that level of excitement? Throw in his heart-melting smile, and it's the perfect recipe for a pint-sized social media star.
"Grey's Instagram has always been private and I only recently released it as a public account. But not before I pretty much deleted most if not all of our previous posts with family photos, Grey as a newborn...I want to make sure we keep some semblance of privacy," Grey's mom tells us. "Nothing in our daily life has changed, so it's been nice. I honestly don't pay a lot of attention to it, so that could be part of my naivety. I'm glad that people find Grey as a source of joy because this is just really who he is—and as his mom, I know that he is infectious. But also as his mom, my number one job is to protect him. So as easily as it came, it'll be just as easy for us to give it up."
If you've been anywhere near the internet this week, you've probably come across this seriously heartwarming clip.
Casually seated on the couch, a dad and his 18-month-old son have a full-on conversation. The son might not form many actual words—but his hand gestures, mannerisms and expressions are all *entirely* on point.
Watch the adorable viral video here:
It's a precious moment to behold—and the internet could barely handle it.
Since it was posted on Tuesday night, the video has been viewed over 39M times. I even saw it pop up in Will Smith's IG feed.
We caught up with proud parents DJ and Shanieke Pryor, who were appropriately blown away by the public reaction to this clip that sat in Shanieke's camera roll for about a month before she posted it. They've been touched by how the captured moment has resonated and spread joy to so many.
The Pryors say their boy has been a character from day one—often cracking his parents up with his expressions and hand gestures. Shanieke, who is a full-time RN and a full-time mom, says, "With the joy that he's bringing—and the laughs that are in the house—it could be the littlest thing, but he honestly just amazes us, this little mind."
DJ continues, "I know every parent probably thinks this—but seeing his growth every day and how he interprets what he sees—it's thrilling to me."
We love how this video captures such a sweet and hilarious moment shared between father and son. DJ is a comedian as well as a dad, and it seems clear that Kingston inherited some of his father's timing. Shanieke says she sees her husband in her son every day. "I just love their bond overall with each other. I look at Kingston and think, he acts just like you—some of it he hasn't even learned yet, it's just within him. It's a beautiful thing to watch."
Shanieke's initial video post included the hashtag #HeNeedsHisOwnShow. We agree. And if it gets greenlit—we'll be here for it. 😍
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This video has been popping up all over our feeds this week—and with good reason.
It's a stack of felt, crafted into a handmade demonstration of what *actually* happens during a Cesarean birth. And it is nothing short of incredible!
Watch it here:
We caught up with the creator, Jesse Franks, a blogger, International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) advocate and mom of three. She has been shocked and humbled by the feedback the project has received.
"People have said that they are thankful it exists, that the actual surgical videos have been too gory for them to watch. One mom said that it was the first time she smiled while imagining her child's birth. (That one made me teary eyed!)"
Originally inspired by a childbirth education tool she came across years ago, Jesse wanted to make her own version to help with her ICAN advocacy journey. "How better to explain the seriousness of Cesareans than something you can touch? To be able to look at and touch all those layers," shared Franks.
We love how Jesse created a tactile, accessible tool to help spread awareness + educate mothers about how so many of our babies enter this world. Diana Spalding, a midwife and Motherly's Digital Education Editor, elaborates on the impact these kind of tools can have: "Birth education is such an important and empowering part of the pregnancy journey. ALL women deserve to have access to information about their birth, regardless of how their baby will be coming into the world."
Because regardless of how we meet our babies—all mothers are strong. And our awe-inspiring bodies are worth celebrating. 🙌
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This is birth: A surrogacy journey shares the incredible story of how one surrogate came to carry four children for a couple, and how they all became like family to each other in the process.
We had the honor of catching up with surrogate Jessica Pretz to learn more about how this incredible story came to be.
Five years ago, when surrogate Jessica met intended parents Sharon and Lake, she felt an immediate click. "It was like going on a first date and meeting with someone you knew you were supposed to be aligned with. We all just felt that connection."
Jessica had given birth to three of her own children, and had recently finished her first journey as a surrogate, carrying twins for another couple. Jessica agreed to be a gestational carrier for Sharon and Lake.
Throughout that first pregnancy, the intended parents, Jessica and her family all became very close. Jessica, who is currently a Surrogate Coordinator for Circle Surrogacy, clarifies that this is not always the case with surrogacy—this particular connection is unique.
"The relationship I have with Sharon and Lake is quite different than the one I have with my first intended parents. I respect the level of contact and communication that each intended parent desires. Their family was very involved with the pregnancy and wanted to take part in as many appointments as possible, help with fundal height measurements."
Watch their surrogacy journey captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography here:
Sharon and Lake were by Jessica's side throughout the birth of their first child, Campbell, and even "caught'" her when she was born. When they asked if she wanted to carry a sibling for her just moments after Campbell was born, Jessica says she didn't need to hesitate before saying yes.
"There was no doubt in my mind that I would love to carry another for them. They are everything I could ask for in intended parents and they are a joy to go through pregnancy with."
Less than two years later, Jessica gave birth to Sharon and Lake's second child, Sailor, in what Jessica describes as an "amazing, fast water birth."
After carrying two of their children, she initially hesitated to take on another surrogacy journey.
"I knew after the second journey that they had remaining embryos left. I had six pregnancies under my belt at that point, all of which were vaginal and unmedicated births. I had no complications as of yet, and I was fearful of something going wrong. I tossed up the idea of them using another surrogate to carry their remaining two over the course of two more journeys. I only would have done one more pregnancy as I was ready to not be pregnant or pumping breastmilk and spend time focusing on my own family."
But after some discussion and consulting with her family, Sharon and Lake, her birth team and reproductive endocrinologist, they all decided to do one more journey together—and transfer the last two remaining embryos. Both took— and they became pregnant with twins. In their birth film, you can see the emotional moment when the twin pregnancy is confirmed, while Jessica is on the phone with Sharon and Lake from the ultrasound room.
Initial fears aside, Jessica explains how the decision itself was, ultimately, second nature: "Deciding to carry all four of their kids really wasn't a hard decision. I am a big part of their lives and most importantly their kid's stories. It would have been odd for me to not help them complete their family."
Watching the birth film, it is truly powerful to witness the love, support and familial connection between Jessica, Sharon and Lake while their twins are born. In one sweet moment, Sharon is embracing Jessica during labor as they both cry.
Even after the birth of their twins, Sharon, Lake, Jessica and her family have all stayed close—even vacationing together. Jessica says she and Sharon are close friends who talk about parenting, marriage and life in general. "It's really a beautiful connection we share."
On how it feels to be a surrogate, Jessica shares, "The best part of being a surrogate is getting to see a couple become a family and the look on their faces when they first see their baby or babies. It is truly an honor to carry these babies and be entrusted with their care."
As a mother of four children herself, we wanted to know more about how Jessica's family has reacted to her surrogacy journeys. "My family is extremely supportive of my surrogate pregnancies and quite proud of the joy I have been able to bring to others through surrogacy. The intended parents I have carried for have become family to us and my own biological family regularly communicates via social media with them."
She continues, "My kids are little advocates and educators on surrogacy. I feel that my children have learned selflessness and sacrifice through my journeys. I always say that while it is the woman who is pregnant, the journey of surrogacy takes the whole family's support."
We're so thankful to both of these families for allowing us to share their incredible surrogacy story.
This is birth: A Surrogacy Journey was captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography.
We started our This is: Birth film series to give representation to the many varied ways women give birth. Watch more curated birth films here.