Alex McCord's sons Francois and Johan quite literally grew up before our very eyes as we followed their early years on The Real Housewives of New York City. But the boys have grown up out of the spotlight over the past few years, and trust us, you're going to want to sit down before you see how grown-up they look now.
Yes, Francois and Johan are now 13 and 11, respectively, and from some recent photos of the RHONY kids on Alex's Instagram, you can see that these boys are certainly growing into young men.
Alex can't believe how big Francois and Johan are getting, either. "Francois and Johan are great," the RHONY alum recently told The Daily Dish during a visit to New York. "They are enormous. Francois is as tall as I am."
Francois and Johan have spent their tween years in Australia since late 2014 when the family decided to move to patriarch Simon van Kempen's native country. "I think it's really great for them to have another experience," Alex said. "Francois and Johan were born in New York, raised in New York. Although they had traveled, they had never lived outside of New York until we moved to Australia. I think it's really important to see the rest of the world. Even if they wind up coming back to New York, which is completely fine and I would imagine Francois probably will, if you live your entire life in New York and that's all you know, you're in a bubble. So you need to see the rest of the world, because the rest of the world is not like New York."
Living closer to Simon's extended family and "dealing with people who have a vastly different perspective on life" have been helping Francois and Johan grow, according to Alex. However, acclimating to a new place, let alone a new country, has its challenges. "I think Francois and Johan have their ups and downs. They love New York. I think a part of them misses New York," Alex said. "But also, Australia is pretty amazing. There is a different sort of level of freedom there. They're not being watched all the time. They can go through adolescence and puberty without having a microscope on them. They get to do awesome things like snorkel and be in the ocean and be outside a lot more than they were here. I think it's an exciting thing."
As Francois and Johan, who currently attend the same K-12 school in Australia, get older, they've also started to learn more about their parents — and their own — time on RHONY. "We never let Francois and Johan watch Housewives. First of all, at the beginning it was way past their bedtime, and there was just no need for that. They've seen little snippets here and there of just little scenes that they might have been in that maybe were online," Alex explained. "I think in their own time, they may choose to watch it and see what that was all about, but that's when they're older. Francois' starting to get curious, which is why he came [to the interview] today. And, yeah, it's sort of like looking through old photo albums, I think. You need some time and space away from that in order to kind of appreciate it."
So what do Francois and Johan think of the bit of RHONY that they have seen or heard about? "Well... I really don't know," Alex said. "You'd have to ask them."
Relive one of Francois and Johan's most adorable RHONY moments, below.