We can’t quite call it a trend, but a lot of Oscar winning actresses seem to be celebrating their kids’ 18th birthday recently. Fresh off Julia Roberts celebrating her twins’ milestone birthday, Laura Dern shared a sweet set of photos of her daughter, Jaya Harper, on Instagram Tuesday in honor of her 18th birthday. “My girl is 18 today!!!” Dern captioned the post. “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 actress memorialized the occasion with some throwback images, a more recent pic, as well as a shot of their celebration together.
Jaya is Dern’s daughter with her ex-husband, musician Ben Harper. The two met at one of his concerts in 2000 and began dating shortly after. In 2001, they welcomed a son Ellery, and three years later, they had Jaya before divorcing in 2013. Jaya and Dern seem to be incredibly close and the 18-year-old is often her mom’s date on red carpets. She just accompanied the actress to the Governors Awards earlier this month, as well as the Academy Museum Gala in October. Both of Dern’s kids were also in attendance for the Jurassic World Dominion premiere over the summer.
And just like her mom, Jaya is looking to go into acting (which would make her a third generation actor). Earlier this year, she starred in a film on Mubi called Teenage Emotions. For now, though Dern and Jaya have agreed she should finish school before she fully committing to a career. “I started very young, at 11, but I’m so happy that she’s waiting and wants to go to school but really knows in her heart she wants to act,” Dern told Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year. “And maybe if she does, we’ll end up having the privilege of working together one day.”