Reese Witherspoon took it hard when her first child moved away to college

By Ale Russian
May 20, 2019 11:27 AM

Reese Witherspoon had a hard time when daughter Ava Phillippe packed up her room and moved away to college.

Witherspoon stopped by pal Ellen DeGeneres‘ talk show on Monday where she talked about missing 19-year-old Ava after she left for college last fall.

“I have a kid finishing his first year of kindergarten, I have a kid finishing his first year of high school and my daughter is finishing her first year of college,” Witherspoon told DeGeneres of her three kids: Ava and Deacon, 15, who she shares with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and 6-year-old Tennessee, who she shares with husband Jim Toth.

Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon
| Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty

“It’s weird when your children go away to college. It’s hard,” she continued. “And I never imagined how it felt for my mom. I might’ve gone into her empty room, laid down on her bed and cried when she went to college. But it’s okay, she’s coming back. Apparently, they come back, right? I thought she’d be gone.”

Witherspoon also took the chance to apologize to her mother Betty for never coming home after college since she moved to L.A. to start her career. Her college drop-out status bothered her mom for years to come, the actress revealed.

“Oh, my mom was so mad at me that I dropped out of college because she wanted me to be a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon,” Witherspoon said. “My dad was an ear, nose and throat surgeon, but my mom was just really determined for me to be a plastic surgeon. And she was mad about it for probably 10 years, and then I bought her a house so she got over it. At some point it turned into a better deal for Betty.”

Witherspoon next appears in season two of Big Little Lies, which premiered on HBO June 16.