Will Smith marks daughter Willow's birthday with emotional video about her birth: 'I gazed in awe at her'

·4 min read
Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, turned 21 on Oct. 32. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)
Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, turned 21 on Oct. 32. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

Willow Smith is officially 21 — and to celebrate, her famous parents are paying tribute. 

On Halloween Sunday, coinciding with his daughter's birthday, Will Smith shared a touching video that showed him reading an excerpt from his upcoming book, Will, to Willow about the day she worn. 

"This is the (nerve wracking) moment I read my book to @willowsmith for the first time and told the story of her birth 21 years ago," Smith captioned the social media post. "Love you, Bean! Happy Bday!"

In the video, Smith shares how Willow arrived a couple weeks earlier than her expected due date "in dramatic fashion." 

"Her due date had been Nov. 11th, which is Trey's birthday," said Smith, speaking of his oldest child, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino. "But even in the womb, she knew she wasn't sharing no birthday with nobody!"

Smith shared how he was the first person to hold her tiny body, which nearly fit into one hand.

"Her beautiful emerald eyes trying to focus. She couldn't quite see me, but some part of me seemed to know i was hers," said Smith, 53. "She came out, I held her, I gazed in awe at her..."

Willow's tiny size on the day she was born inspired Smith's nickname for his daughter, "Bean." The video concluded with the words "Happy Birthday Bean" emblazoned across the screen, a nod to the moniker. 

Meanwhile, Willow's mom Jada Pinkett-Smith, 50, also shared a heartfelt post in honor of her daughter and Red Table Talk co-host. 

"Your dad INSISTED that he have a baby girl and I'm sooooo glad he did. You are one of the most resilient, courageous, brilliant, insightful, talented, beautiful humans I know," wrote Pinkett Smith. "I don't have the words to express the deep love I have for you or how happy I am to watch you spread your wings. BUT... I hope you can FEEL how much I love you and how much of a Divinely astounding blessing you are to me. Happy freak’n 21st Willoween Bean!!!!!!!"

The video was a montage of moments from Willow's life, ranging from her birthday and early years learning to play the piano to her rise to stardom with her 2010 hit song "Whip My Hair." "I'm so proud of you," Pinkett-Smith says on the video to her daughter, who responds "I'm so glad."

Smith and Pinkett-Smith have been open about the trials and tribulations they've faced while parenting. Last year, Smith shared that Willow "introduced me to feelings" and completely changed his approach to child-rearing. In an appearance on Red Table Talk, he explained that while he was raised with traditional discipline, Willow's rebellious ways threw him for a loop.

"It was so devastating to me when she shaved her head bald," said Smith, who felt it was a "protest against me" and "a sign from the gods."

"I saw how much I was making and forcing and pushing the things that I wanted and in that moment, I just saw it was starting to hurt her," he explained. "My desire for her was overriding her desire for her. And I had a real epiphany on that and how bad a person will hate you if you keep forcing your wishes onto their life."

As a result, Smith pivoted his parenting methods.

"I stopped, and I just started watching my kids, and with Willow, I started to see that there was a higher value in talking to her about how she feels about the situation versus how to fix the situation, and it became the new thought process for me," he shared. 

 Willow herself has also spoken out about her experience growing up in the spotlight. This past summer, she shared that she "felt a lot of pressure" in her younger years. 

 "I always just wanted to do right by my parents, and do right by the beauty that they have put in the world, and continue to uplift that beauty and to uphold that beauty," she said in an interview with Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe, People reported

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting