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Jenna Bush Hager Cries ‘Little Tears’ Sending Daughters Mila and Poppy Off to Camp

Jenna Bush Hager Cries Sending Her Daughters Off to Camp
Jenna Bush Hager Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Project Lyme

Jenna Bush Hager let out a few tears after sending her daughters to camp.

As Bush Hager, 42, began recalling the drop off during the Monday, July 8, episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna, a selfie with daughters Mila, 11, and Poppy, 8, flashed up on the screen.

“I mean, look at my mouth in that,” Bush Hager said, referring to her scrunched lips in the image. Bush Hager’s eyes were not visible underneath a pair of sunglasses.

Cohost Hoda Kotb chimed in, “I know that face! That’s the face that I’ve seen on this show when the dam is about to break. You were holding it in.”

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Bush Hager joked that “the dam broke.” She added, “Little tears under my big sunglasses.”

Bush Hager recalled leaving her daughters at the bus station before they left for their summer adventure. (Alongside Mila and Poppy, Bush Hager shares son Hal, 4, with her husband, Henry Hager.)

“Poppy was like, ‘But what about the spiders in the bathroom?’ And I was like, ‘You’re going to become friends with the spiders in the bathroom,’” Bush Hager said. “She’s like, ‘But what about the heat?’ I’m like, ‘It’s going to become normal to you.’ It’s hot there.”

Bush Hager’s eldest daughter, Mila, stepped up to give Poppy big-sister advice.

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“Mila was totally like, ‘OK, so here’s what you do, Poppy. I know you’re going to want a Sprite, but Sprites make you feel nauseous on the first day because you’re not used to the heat. And here’s what else you do. You wake up early to use the restroom, because if you don’t have your own space I’m not sure you’re going to be able to do it,’” Bush Hager said of their conversation.

When Kotb, 59, asked how she’s faring with her daughters away for the summer, Bush Hager replied, “I feel like two of my three hearts are far away from me.” But she added, “I’m just so happy. They’re going to have great weeks.”

Bush Hager’s “little tears” were an improvement from the first year that she sent Mila to summer camp. “The first year I dropped Mila, I had a real issue,” Bush Hager recalled. “I felt like something was wrong.”

Bush Hager, who went to the same camp in Texas as a child, said her parents — former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush — did not cry.

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“They high-fived each other because both of us were gone,” she said, referring to her twin sister, Barbara Bush. “I even wrote them letters like, ‘Dear Mom and Dad, here are my friends.’ And I wrote [the names of] all the people in the cabin. And then the next letter was, ‘Dear Mom and Dad, that last letter was a lie. I have zero friends.’”

Bush Hager couldn’t remember whether she asked to be picked up and brought back home, but she knows her parents “never would have done that.”

Despite facing adversity her first year at the sleepaway camp, Bush Hager enjoyed her experience.

“I loved it,” she admitted. “My first year was just rough because I was an odd child.”

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