Though Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have been very public about their excitement over becoming empty nesters, the actual process of dropping their youngest son, Joaquin, off at college proved tough for the couple.
On Tuesday’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, Ripa, 50, talked about taking Joaquin to the University of Michigan where he started as a freshman last month.
“We became empty nesters. We took our youngest son to college, we dropped him off,” Ripa shared with co-host Ryan Seacrest. “It was hard. It was really hard.”
Ripa shared a side story about how she used to tuck her kids into bed and kiss them goodnight, before popping back into their rooms and saying, “one more!” It was a tradition that stopped as they grew into teens but that she started up again when the kids stayed with her during the pandemic.
Describing her goodbye with Joaquin as “actually brutally painful,” Ripa shared, “I gave him a hug and I said, ‘I did not realize that 18 years would go so fast.’ And he didn’t say anything. He was just giving me a hug. He turned to walk away and I said, ‘Wait, Joaquin, one more!’ And he kept walking. And I knew that it was happening to him too, the emotion.”
Ripa added that this experience was more challenging than that of her first two kids, Michael, 24, and Lola, 20, because they stayed in New York for school.
“You can never be ready,” she said. “We’ve done it before, but the other two stayed in New York.”
As for life as empty nesters, Ripa admitted that she and Consuelos got off to a rocky start.
“I’m not gonna lie, the first 48 hours of Mark and me sitting in abject silence and awkward resentments,” she joked. “There was a moment where he was breathing again and I said, ‘My gosh, I didn’t realize that it was so loud every time you breathe.’ I turned on the lights so I could get back to the bed and he accused me of turning on the lights aggressively.”
But the couple found their stride when they went to the beach and watched a family wrangling some toddlers.
“I was like, ‘suckers!'” Ripa quipped.