That smile though.

By Kimberly Truong
Sep 09, 2019 @ 2:45 pm

It's Ava Phillippe's 20th birthday, and Reese Witherspoon is celebrating with a sweet and gushy Instagram post that only a mom could write. 

"Watching your little girl grow into a gorgeous, thoughtful, compassionate, fun-loving young woman defies words," she wrote in her post. "It has got to be the greatest gift I could ever receive. I love you @avaphillippe to the moon, around the stars and back! Happy 20th!"

She also shared two photos, a recent one taken by photographer Portrait Mami, as well as an old throwback photo of baby Ava, looking very much like her mother. 

Ava commented on the post, writing, "love you so much, mama."

Despite Ava leaving home for college last year, the two of them seem as close as ever. In June, Ava shared a post on Instagram dedicated to her mother "just because," writing, "This is the gorgeous woman who taught me about the power of graciousness, love, ambition, and hard work. She inspires me everyday to live with gratitude for the life I’ve been given and compassion for others."

RELATED: Reese Witherspoon Doesn't Want You to Worry

“It's weird when your children go away to college — it’s hard,” Reese said during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this year. “I never imagined how it felt for my mom. I might have gone into [Ava's] empty room, laid down on her bed and cried right when she went to college.”

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