Lisa Barlow is saying goodbye to her son, Jack, as he begins his post-high school plans. Three months after the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star’s 18-year-old son graduated from his Salt Lake City, Utah, high school, he’s skipping college and instead going on a long Mormon missionary trip.
Barlow broke down while talking about her son’s plans on the RHOSLC season 4 premiere, and she gave more details during a September 5, 2023 appearance on “Watch What Happens Live.” A few days later she shared an emotional goodbye message to her son.
Here’s what you need to know:
Lisa Barlow Said Her Son Jack Will Be Gone for 2 Years
Barlow and her husband John share two sons, Jack and Henry. On the RHOSLC season 4 premiere episode, titled “Fresh Powder, Fresh Start,” the Vida Tequila founder became emotional as she discussed their eldest son’s plans with her husband.
Barlow admitted that she had wanted to be “super present” with Jack in his last months of high school because she knew she wouldn’t have him home “for very long.” She then revealed that her son announced to her that he would not be going to college but would instead be going on a two-year Mormon mission.
“A mission is devoting two years of your life to serving others and teaching people about Jesus Christ,” the RHOSLC star explained in a confessional, per BravoTV.com. “So, Jack’s giving up two years of his life to basically help everyone but himself.”
Barlow also revealed that her son had been prepping to go on the mission for more than a year and that he did it all behind her back. Barlow expressed sadness over not being involved in the process at all.
“I think I’m still dealing with the emotion that I had no idea and he’s been prepping for a year, and then it makes me think that maybe he does need more time with me, or maybe he just wants less,” she said. “The hardest part is that Jack hid this from John and me for almost a year. … It hurts … How could I miss this?”
Barlow also revealed that her son told her he kept the secret from her and her husband because they are “different” than he is.
On “Watch What Happens Live” on September 5, Barlow elaborated on her son’s plans. “We can’t see him for two years,” she told host Andy Cohen. “Were gonna find out [where his mission is]. He’s been in the missionary training center for the last few weeks, and he takes off on Thursday.”
In an Instagram story on September 8, Barlow shared, “Took an unintentional red-eye to say my ‘see you in 2 years’ to [Jack Barlow]. Landed in SLC after a quick stint in LA.”
She then shared footage of Jack dressed in a suit as he rolled suitcases through the airport in Salt Lake City.
In another post, Barlow captioned a photo of her son with an emotional message to him.
“You are about to do some really amazing things,” the RHOSLC star wrote. “My whole heart is breaking with happiness and love and this insane feeling that I’m not going to be able to breathe until you are home. I miss you every second of every day and I know God will overwhelm you with love and protect you. Being your mom has made me a better person. My love for you is more than my heart can take, God made you so so good.”
Jack Barlow Previously Said He Wanted to Skip College
During her WWHL appearance, Barlow noted that her son graduated from high school with honors and already earned his associate degree. In addition, the teen is already an entrepreneur after founding the men’s grooming line, Fresh Wolf.
But it was more than a year ago that Jack hinted that he might skip college and focus on his Fresh Wolf business.
“Fudge college,” Jack famously said in the RHOSLC season 3 episode “Finsta Fight.” In a scene with his parents, the teen gushed about a social media influencer’s advice not to go to college and instead follow a mentor to learn about business.
Barlow was firm in her stance that college is about more than what is learned in the classroom and that it is an important step toward adulthood.
The RHOSLC season 4 premiere episode wasn’t the first time fans learned of Jack’s plans to go on a mission. In the RHOSLC season 4 trailer that dropped in August, Heather Gay was seen asking Whitney Rose, “Is Jack going on a mission?” She then added, “It seems weird to me.”
Gay, who left the Mormon church in 2019, was later seen asking Barlow about Jack’s mission and saying “the doctrine is problematic.”
“I don’t want to talk about Jack’s mission. I get so emotional, because I’m like, it’s such a big deal,” a visibly upset Barlow replied at the time.