Tonight on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Bruce Jenner reveals that his wife Kris hasn’t had a great relationship with his mom Esther over the years, and that’s something he wants to change.
Esther, who Bruce has described as an “all-American mom and housewife” appears on camera for he first time, saying that she’s never felt that she could reach out to Kris.
Esther, 87, just lost her third husband, who was 95, so Bruce reached out to her. His kids could barely remember what she looked like. Bruce admitted that he’s had some ups and downs over the years with his mom, but decided that it was time for her to reconnect with his side of the family.
Bruce asked Kris if she could go with him to see his mom in Idaho for her birthday. Kris believes that because of all the “run-ins” they’ve had over time, it might be healthier if she gave Bruce and Esther space. Kris and Esther have only seen each other four times over the 22 years Kris and Bruce have been married. Kris says she stays away from her because Esther yelled at her. She says she was excited to meet Esther because she had had a close relationship with her ex-husband Robert Kardashian’s folks.
“The last time she came to my home, I made her dinner, I made her brownies, I made her pasta, my favorite soup, I put flowers in her room. I made her feel like a princess. She doesn’t even like me. Why would I go visit somebody who can’t stand me?” Bruce replied that he feels it’s important for Kris to go see her again because she won’t be around forever, and he wants to give his mom another chance to see Kris and get to know her.
Khloe, who is never shy about criticizing her mom, says that she understand why her hasn’t felt good about seeing Bruce’s mom because she feels Esther hasn’t treated them well over the years, but she also feels that holding grudges is unhealthy. “I think Bruce should totally stand his ground and make my mom do it. Like it or not, that is Bruce’s mother.”
Kris says that she’s in a place in her life where she wants to surround herself with “good energy,” and people who want to be around her. At the end, Bruce decided to fly his mom to their house for her birthday. On the way home from the airport, they talked about the distance between Esther and Kris, and Bruce asked Esther to take Kris to the side and tell her that she appreciates her.
Eventually Kris and Esther did get to have that conversation, and Esther said she was sorry that they haven’t been closer over the years, and told Kris that she was good for Bruce, and thought Bruce was good for her.
Bruce and Kris have been married for over 22 years (since April 21, 1991) and have two children together, Kendall and Kylie. Altogether the pair have 10 children together, including each other’s stepchildren.
Bruce’s father, Bill Jenner, served in World War II and later became a tree surgeon. The family moved frequently, about every five years, and Bruce attended high school in Newtown, Connecticut, and Sleepy Hollow, New York. Bruce, the second of his parents’ four children, excelled as an athlete in school, but had trouble with his grades because of dyslexia. He found his niche in sports though, and was able to earn a football scholarship after he graduated high school, which was especially important to him because the Vietnam War was drafting. “I was getting kind of scared,” he’s said of his prospects. “In those days, you got drafted if you didn’t go to college.”
He thought his sports career was over by his freshman year in college when he suffered an injury that took him off the football team of Graceland College in Iowa, but 16 months after his injury he was able to join the college’s basketball and track teams. In 1970 Bruce competed in a decathlon, and broke the school’s record. By 1972, the young athlete had qualified for the U.S. Olympic team. He qualified again in 1976, and was able to bring home a gold medal for the Decathlon.