James Van Der Beek's heartbreaking birthday gift from Dawson's Creek mum

James Van Der Beek's 'Dawson's Creek' mum has been sending him cookies on his birthday every year since his real mother died.
The actor played Dawson Leery in the teen drama opposite Mary-Margaret Humes as his onscreen mum Gail - they've stayed in touch since the show ended back in 2003 and he's now revealed she makes an extra effort to look after him since his mum Melinda Weber passed away in 2020 at the age of 70.
James - who turned 46 on Wednesday (08.03.23) - shared the news in a post on Instagram, writing: "Every year since my mother died, [Humes] makes me cookies and sends them to me on my birthday. I have the best TV momma on the planet."
He added a video which shows him in the kitchen with his six children filming as the eldest four rip the packaging off a container full of cookies and start tucking into the sweet treats.
James - who is holding his youngest son Jeremiah in his arms - is heard saying: "Hey guys look what we got ... From Margaret, every year, on my birthday," before telling the kids: "One each, one each!"
The actor is dad to daughters Olivia, 12, Annabel, nine, Emilia, six, and Gwendolyn, four, as well as sons Joshua, 10, and Jeremiah, 15 months, with his wife Kimberly.
He was left devastated in the summer of 2020 when he lost his mum after a long battle with ill health and he wrote a poignant tribute to her on Instagram: "My mom crossed over last week. Even though we knew this was coming - and had actually thought we were at the end nearly a year and a half ago - I'm still in shock. I'm grateful she's no longer in pain, I'm sad, I'm angry, I'm relieved ... all at once and in different moments. Just trying to hold space and allow for it all."
In the post, James also referenced her career as a gymnastics teacher and revealed she touched many young lives.
He wrote: "To thousands of kids, she was 'Miss Melinda', a gymnastics teacher with a big heart, a creative spirit and a mantra: 'There's no such word as can't!'
"To my kids, she was Grammy M ... a magical grandma with a big laugh and a basement full of costumes and Christmas lights. And to me ... she was my mom. She gave me life. She taught me how to tumble. Drove me to my first auditions. She believed in me based on nothing but her own intuition, and she passed on a craziness that has been crucial to not just my success, but my own personal happiness."