Maria Pasquini
October 14, 2017 03:05 PM

Madonna doesn’t have to justify her love on her daughter’s birthday!

On Saturday, Madonna wished her eldest daughter Lourdes Leon a happy 21st birthday with a trio of touching photos on Instagram.

“Whether you are in Cuba…or in Kenya…or in our own backyard, you are always in my heart. Happy birthday Lola,” the proud mama wrote alongside a series of throwback photos of her daughter from around the world, ending with an absolutely adorable snap of the mother-daughter duo sharing a precious moment at home.

Madonna/Instagram

Leon — a senior at the University of Michigan — is the daughter of Madonna and her former flame Carlos Leon.

And this isn’t the first time Madonna’s gotten sentimental on her daughter’s birthday. Last year she shared this adorable close-up of her daughter’s face writing, “Happy birthday to my beautiful princess L.O.L.I.T.A.” she wrote, adding, “Never forget who you are little star.”

RELATED VIDEO: Madonna Shares First Family Portrait with All Six of Her Kids from 59th Birthday Party in Italy

But even though Leon — and the rest of Madonna’s children — are all growing up, the singer says being a parent hasn’t gotten any easier.

“I had this funny notion that when your children get older, they learn to take care of themselves and it gets easier,” Madonna previously told PEOPLE. “But actually, the older they get, the more challenging it gets — because now they’re becoming adults, and they really need guidance.”

And Madonna is certainly not afraid to offer her guidance, even when it’s in the form of tough love.

“I’m bad-cop, I’m the one that says no,” she adds. “I accept that role. I’m not the popular parent.”

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