Ripa shared the experience on Monday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, explaining, “….We became empty nesters. We took our youngest son to college, we dropped him off. It was hard. It was really hard.” The parents have had practice — along with Joaquin, Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos share son Michael 24, and daughter Lola, 20 — but there was something about her youngest leaving home that clearly got Ripa right in her feels.
She went on to reveal a memory of when her children were young, saying, “My kids had this thing that they used to love that I did when they were little. I would tuck them in bed, and I would give them kisses and cuddles, and then I would say goodnight and I would leave, and then I would come back and be like, ‘One more, one more,’ and they would giggle and laugh…and it was always like, exciting.”
But when her children became teenagers, the game felt “weird,” she joked, adding, “They’re like, get out. Filing a restraining order.” That is, until the pandemic when the couple’s children were all home together, including on Ripa’s 50th birthday in October. To celebrate, the kids asked to sleep in their parents’ room and play the game. “…I left my own room and I was like, ‘Here I come, one more!’ And they loved it. They loved it. Then I started doing it again, just like, whenever they were home, I would do it,” recalled Ripa.
She did the same in August when leaving Joaquin at the University of Michigan, a “brutally painful” moment for the couple. “And I said, ‘I did not realize that 18 years would go so fast,” said Ripa adding of her son, “And he didn’t say anything, he was just giving me a hug. And 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 had previously posted on Instagram that she and Consuelos were “crushing this empty nest thing.” But all joking aside, she’s admitted that sending a child off to college is a moment for which “You can never be ready.”
No parent would argue with that!