Britney Spears posted a rare photo of her sons, 14-year-old Jayden and 15-year-old Sean Preston, to her Instagram on Monday. The singer has mostly kept her two boys with ex-husband Keven Federline out of the public eye up until this point, a move that starkly contrasts how Spears grew up.
The Instagram post is an edited version of an original photo that showed the three of them standing in front of a blue sky. The star later edited the image to look more like the trio was standing in front of the colorful backdrop of a sunset, which she joked that she needed to do in order for the teen boys to OK the post.
The pop star’s caption was full of praise for her sons, and sounded like every mother who has felt like she went to bed one night with her babies nestled in their cribs, and woke up the next morning with teenagers. “It’s so crazy how time flies…. My boys are so big now,” she wrote.
Spears goes on to explain why she doesn’t share many images of her boys. “I haven’t posted pictures of them for some time cause they’re at the age where they want to express their own identities and I totally get it,” she wrote. The singer has been in and out of the public eye since the age of 11, when she joined The Mickey Mouse Club, and more so at 17, when her pop album Baby One More Time hit the airwaves and made her a household name.
Unfortunately, her superstar status also made her a frequent target for paparazzi, which meant she basically grew up in the public eye. And as someone who is the same age as Spears, I can say that I’m glad I never had to navigate my late teens/early 20s on an international stage, with everyone in the world talking about my virginity, relationships, and friendships the way that she had to. (PS. We do not accept your apology, Justin Timberlake.)
With not one but two documentaries based on the star’s life growing up and how she was treated by the press (Framing Britney Spears on Hulu and a recently announced project for Netflix), it’s easy to see why the 39-year-old has kept her sons so far removed from the dangerous maze of fame and stardom that she spent her youth navigating.
Whatever the reason Spears keeps her kids private, the mom seems to be making her decisions with her children’s best interests in mind. Which seems like a far cry from the singer’s own childhood.
Want to know what your favorite celebs named their kids? Check out this list of the best celeb baby names.