In the fast-moving and often fickle world of Hollywood, raising tight-knit families can be difficult — so we’re always happy to see our favorite actresses showing love for their kids. In fact, three celeb children just celebrated their milestone 18th birthdays on November 29: Jaya Harper, daughter of Laura Dern and ex-husband Ben Harper, and Hazel and Phinnaeus Moder, twins of Julia Roberts and her husband Danny Moder. Clearly, November 29, 2004 was a major day for famous moms!
The birthdays were publicly celebrated with Instagram announcements. Dern shared a couple of throwback shots of Jaya as a toddler, along with a gorgeous recent mother/daughter portrait and a picture of Jaya’s birthday cake. The heartfelt caption read: “My girl is 18 today!!! Happiest birthday, Jaya! You teach me every day about what it means to be an honest and profound empath, artist, and activist. I love you with everything.” The Rambling Rose star’s post received celebratory comments from her actress peers, including Julianne Moore and Jennifer Beals. We also love that the Big Little Lies actress highlighted what makes her daughter so special, and her acknowledgement that she learns from Jaya every day is a moving testament to how our children can make us both stronger and more sensitive.
Dern has shared images of her daughter on Instagram before, including a funny 2020 post in which Jaya wore a hip outfit and the actress humorously struggled with Gen Z slang in the caption: “My daughter’s fit (that’s what she says to call it) is super sick…what does it mean if she says her outfit is ‘fire’????” Earlier this year, Dern posted another tribute to Jaya, in honor of Daughters Day on September 25, calling her “the most inspiring person.” Dern has spoken about how she wants Jaya to wait to pursue acting until she’s finished school, though it’s clear she’s already impressed by her daughter’s achievements.
Roberts has been friends with Dern since the ’90s. In a 2017 Entertainment Weekly interview, Dern said of their bond, “We loved each other. I loved her so much, and we went on vacation together. We had this period of time when we were inseparable.” On the day Dern posted her birthday tribute to Jaya, Roberts also shared a sweet Instagram update honoring her own kids. The Pretty Woman star went for a more minimal caption, simply posting “🌟🌟18🌟🌟 Love you” alongside a throwback photo of her looking glamorous and holding one of the twins as a baby while the other looks on. Roberts’ post received a comment from fellow actress Rita Wilson, who expressed a common sentiment for moms celebrating their kids’ big birthdays: “It can’t be!!!!!!!”
The My Best Friend’s Wedding actress recently opened up about her twin son and daughter in a TV interview with Extra, admitting that while the idea of them going off to college “makes [her] a little lightheaded,” it’s also “really thrilling.”
Whether or not you’re a celebrity, seeing your kids grow up and come into their own is a powerful experience. We wish Jaya Harper and Hazel and Phinnaeus Moder a very happy 18th birthday, and we can’t wait to hear what they do next.